Legal DNA testing needs to be carried out in the strictest of conditions, and using procedures which eliminate the possibility of doubt being raised as the accuracy of the results. DNA is not an established technology by the standards of science, and many of the techniques used are still questioned by those involved in its development. Whether these questionable techniques are applied to any individual case depends on its complexity, and on the strength and quality of the samples available. To make DNA evidence stick in a court of law, you will need to be able to overcome any possible objections.
The origins of legal DNA testing were only a few short decades ago, and the law enforcement authorities were quick to see the possibilities. As is so often the case, they really tried to use this science before it had been fully developed, so many mistakes were made. There were cases where DNA was extracted from suspects using material which was already contaminated with the DNA of other people, and many cases where exhibits were improperly stored leading to a risk of contamination.
Even when DNA testing is used for far more mundane purposes, such as determining the parentage of a child, there still remains the need to ensure that correct procedure is observed. Using equipment which has been properly sterilized to extract the DNA samples is obvious enough, but if any doubt can be raised in a court of law it could affect the verdict given. It is critical not only to do the right thing, but to be seen to be doing the right thing.
There are many cases where DNA testing can be helpful in solving legal issues relating to family. Paternity suits are the obvious example, and in cases where all relevant parties are still living and are present at the testing, there is no reason why a perfectly accurate result should not be obtained. Sometimes, DNA is taken from the fetus before it is even born, in an attempt to make sure that financial arrangements are in place before the birth takes place.
The other area of legal DNA testing which can be relatively straightforward is testing for inheritance cases. Where family members, or alleged family members, are involved in court cases over the disbursement of an estate, there is invariably acrimony and heated feelings. Having hard evidence such as DNA can not only solve the issue for good, it can also help those on the losing side of such a case come to terms with the result. There is no substitute for seeing actual proof of something, even if that proof is not what you wanted to see. We are sure, in the future, to see an increase in the importance of legal DNA testing.