United States v. Mitchell, No. 09-4718 (3d Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
Defendant was indicted on one count of attempted possession with intent to distribute five or more kilograms of cocaine (21 U.S.C. 846). Following indictment, arrest, and detention, the government sought to collect a DNA sample, relying on 42 U.S.C. 14135a(a)(1)(A), which permits the collection of DNA samples from individuals who are arrested, facing charges, or convicted. The district court concluded that the statute was unconstitutional and prohibited the government from taking the sample prior to conviction. After determining that the matter concerned a collateral order, subject to interlocutory appeal, the Third Circuit reversed. Arrestees have a diminished expectation of privacy in their identities, and DNA collection from arrestees serves important law enforcement interests; such collection is reasonable and does not violate the Fourth Amendment.