Commonwealth Consolidated Acts

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Destruction of forensic material after 12 months

             (1)  This section applies where forensic material has been taken from a suspect by a forensic procedure carried out under this Part (except Divisions 6A and 6B).

             (2)  If:

                     (a)  a period of 12 months has elapsed since the forensic material was taken; and

                     (b)  proceedings in respect of a relevant offence have not been instituted against the suspect, or have been discontinued;

the forensic material must be destroyed as soon as practicable unless a warrant for apprehension of the suspect has been issued.

             (3)  If:

                     (a)  the suspect is found to have committed a relevant offence but no conviction is recorded; or

                     (b)  the suspect is acquitted of such an offence and:

                              (i)  no appeal is lodged against the acquittal; or

                             (ii)  an appeal is lodged against the acquittal and the acquittal is confirmed or the appeal is withdrawn;

                            the forensic material must be destroyed as soon as practicable unless an investigation into, or a proceeding against the suspect for, another relevant offence is pending.

             (4)  If a warrant for the apprehension of the suspect is issued during the period of 12 months after forensic material is taken, the forensic material must be destroyed as soon as practicable after:

                     (a)  the warrant lapses; or

                     (b)  a period of 12 months elapses after the suspect is apprehended.

             (5)  A magistrate may, on application by a constable or the Director of Public Prosecutions, extend for a period not exceeding 12 months the period for which forensic material may be retained under this section, if the magistrate is satisfied there are special reasons for doing so.

             (6)  A magistrate to whom an application is made under subsection (5) is not to extend the period unless:

                     (a)  the person from whom the forensic material was taken has been notified by the applicant for the extension that the application has been made; and

                     (b)  the person or his or her legal representative or interview friend (if any) has been given the opportunity to speak to or make a submission to the magistrate concerning the extension.

             (7)  An extension in relation to particular forensic material may be given on more than one occasion.

             (8)  The magistrate is to ensure that the responsible person in relation to the Commonwealth DNA database system is notified of any extension given under this section.

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