Criminalistics involves the application of science to law-related matters. It is a specialty that combines many disciplines: the efforts of chemists, biologists, toxicologists, and latent-print and questioneddocument examiners, among others. Different from criminologists, who address the causes, correction, and prevention of criminal behavior, criminalists analyze materials, or physical evidence, recovered from crime scenes. They work with police, lawyers, and probation officers in a combined effort to solve crimes.

Criminalists use scientific techniques and procedures in the laboratory, documented as good science practice within the scientific community, to analyze physical evidence, which is eventually used in a court of law to determine the guilt or innocence of a suspect. Possession of the evidence must be properly documented, with the dates and times the items were handled, and ...

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