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Nebraska works to reduce turnaround time at crime lab

People arrested for and charged with drug offenses in Nebraska look to the defense process to give them a chance to avoid convictions or minimize penalties if ultimately convicted. Evidence used in their cases may be pivotal to the outcomes of their cases. When the processing of that evidence takes too long, it can add to the challenges for defendants.

The state of Nebraska's State Patrol recently established a new crime lab to address what had become a serious backlog of evidence in need of processing. Prior to the completion of the new crime lab, there were more than 1,000 criminal cases waiting for processing. That has now been cut by more than in half. In addition to the new facilities, the state also hired a new forensic scientist and added equipment that could be utilized to analyze evidence.

The state patrol has indicated its intent to hire even more personnel with the plan to have training complete by next year. This is important for defendants to avoid unnecessary delays in having their cases heard properly. The state patrol records show that the number of cases requiring drug chemistry analysis has increased which has put more load and pressure on the crime lab teams and supports the need for the new facility.

Nebraska residents who face drug crimes might find it helpful to talk to a lawyer when wanting to understand how their cases will be handled and how they can defend themselves in these situations.

Source: 1011 Now, "Evidence analyzed quicker at new Nebraska State Patrol Crime Lab," Nicole Griffin, Nov. 3, 2016


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