Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 1726
By: Kitchen
Criminal Jurisprudence


The Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) maintains DNA profiles sent in from
local, state, and national law enforcement agencies.  Since its
introduction, DNA evidence has become a reliable forensic technique for
identifying perpetrators and eliminating suspects when biological evidence
is left at a crime scene. Under current law, DNA is collected from
individuals convicted of sexual assault, murder, aggravated assault, and
burglary of a habitation.  House Bill 1726 expands the Texas CODIS database
to include the collection of DNA specimens for persons arrested for certain
felonies, including sexual offenses that are not currently included in DNA
collection requirements. 


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking
authority is expressly delegated to the Department of Public Safety in
SECTION 1 (Sections 411.1471 and 411.1472, Government Code) and SECTION 4
of this bill. 


House Bill 1726 amends the Government Code and Code of Criminal Procedure
to establish provisions regarding the DNA testing of persons charged with
certain felonies.  The bill requires defendants charged with certain
felonies and arrested on or after February 1, 2002, or placed on deferred
adjudication or community supervision for certain offenses on or after
February 1, 2002, to provide one or more blood samples or other specimens
for the purpose of creating a DNA record.  The bill requires the director
of the Department of Public Safety (director) by rule to require law
enforcement agencies taking a sample or specimen to preserve the sample or
specimen, maintain a record of the collection of the sample or specimen,
and send the sample or specimen to the director for scientific analysis.
The director is required to adopt these rules by January 1, 2002.  The bill
also sets forth provisions regarding additional DNA testing of a defendant.

The bill requires a person convicted of an offense requiring DNA testing to
pay $250 as a court cost.  The bill establishes procedures for the
collection of the court costs, dispersion of the funds received from the
court costs, and an audit of these funds. 


September 1, 2001.