forensic science | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Criminal Investigations

Forensic science is the application of scientific methods and techniques to legal investigations, particularly in the criminal justice system.

The goal of forensic science is to provide impartial and objective scientific evidence to support the investigation and prosecution of criminal cases.

Forensic scientists use a wide range of techniques and disciplines, such as chemistry, biology, physics, and engineering, to analyze physical evidence and extract information that can be used to identify suspects, reconstruct crime scenes, and establish facts about a crime. Some of the most common types of forensic evidence include fingerprints, DNA, bloodstains, firearms, and tool marks.

Forensic scientists may work in a variety of settings, such as crime labs, medical examiners’ offices, or as independent consultants. They may also provide expert testimony in court, where they are called to explain their findings and analysis to the judge and jury.

Forensic science is a multidisciplinary field with several branches and sub-branches, such as forensic biology, forensic chemistry, forensic engineering, forensic anthropology, forensic entomology, and many others. Each of them has its own specific techniques and methods, but they all aim to provide scientific evidence that can be used in criminal investigations and trials.

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Last Modified: 01/11/2023


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