Evidence Preservation in Virginia

State statute requires that if a defendant is sentenced to death, all biological evidence must be automatically preserved until the defendant is executed. For non-death penalty cases, the defendant must make a motion to preserve biological evidence, which must then be preserved for up to 15 years from the time of conviction, unless the court determines that it should be preserved longer. Effective: 2001; Amended most recently: 2005.

Virginia’s statute does NOT meet the best practices standards outlined by the NIST Technical Working Group on Biological Evidence Preservation.

Read the statute.