NY Aims to Extend Preservation of Sexual Offense Evidence Kits



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    New legislation was proposed by the Governor this week in an effort to extend the length of which forensic sexual offense evidence kits are stored in hospitals. Currently, these evidence collection kits are only kept for 30 days from the date they are collected. However, the legislation, which is part of the Women’s Agenda for New York, aims to increase the time that the evidence is stored for a minimum of 5 years or until the victim turns 19 years old. The primary goal is to allow the victim to have more time to report the incident to the police because it often takes time for victims of such traumatic experiences to be able to do so. This new legislation may allow more victims the time to come forward and hold their abusers accountable for committing sexual assault.

    Many times, if a victim tries to report the incident to the police after 30 days, there is a lack of sufficient evidence because the evidence kit has already been destroyed. It turns out that New York currently has the shortest mandate for storing sexual offense evidence. In addition, victims of sexual assault will be able to seek monetary reimbursement after an evidence examination. Health care providers will be prohibited under law for billing the victim, regardless of whether they have health insurance.

    If you are in need of experienced legal counsel for a criminal defense matter in New York State, please contact Grunwald & Seman, P.C. to schedule a consultation and we would be happy to assist you.

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