Forensic Science Scope of Work

Scope of Work and Expected Turn-Around Times

Controlled Substances (Expected average turnaround time within 90 days)

  • Qualitative analysis and identification of substances controlled under the Federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) or the Nevada Administrative Code (NAC).
    • Up to 5 separate items can be submitted per case.
    • Evidence will be accepted in cases that are being actively prosecuted, needed for Grand Jury to support charges, to obtain a warrant, in an on-going investigation, or for officer safety.
  • Only selected items from those submitted will be analyzed.
    • When substances likely to contain a Schedule I compound are submitted, one of each type of substance will be analyzed.
    • When a Schedule I compound is identified, substances likely to contain a compound in a lower schedule will not be analyzed.
    • Visually similar substances will be tested when the total net weight could substantiate a trafficking charge.  This may be deferred until the case is set for District Court.
    • Residue and paraphernalia items only will be tested when no other controlled substance evidence exists.
    • Pharmaceutical preparations (tablets or capsules)
      • Identification of any controlled substance in one dosage unit when no other controlled substance evidence is present (except marijuana).
      • Visual examination only when a scheduled controlled substance is identified, as outlined above (except marijuana), or if consistent with prescription or over-the-counter preparations.

 Additional controlled substance exhibits may be analyzed on a case by case basis.  If services beyond those listed above are needed, please contact the division for consultation prior to submitting the evidence.

  • Controlled Substances services NOT included, or restricted.
    • Quantitative or purity analysis
    • Analysis of the contents of syringes; unless extenuating circumstances exist as approved by the Laboratory Director
    • Analysis of non-controlled substances as poisons, clandestine laboratories chemicals, and various cutting agents.
    • Clandestine lab testimony

Firearms/Toolmark Examinations (Cases going to court and those needed for investigative purposes are being prioritized. After those, cases are being worked in reverse order (newest first))

  • Distance determination
  • Comparative analysis (bullets, cartridge cases, toolmarks etc.)
  • Weapon function test
  • Serial number restoration

Crime Scene Investigation (24/7 Response; Expected average time for evidence to be booked in is 10 days and release of scene reports is 30 days)

  • Homicide
  • Attempted homicide
  • Officer involved shootings
  • Questionable deaths with detective on scene
  • Kidnapping
  • Child abuse
  • Sexual assault with substantial bodily injury or unknown suspect
  • Battery with a deadly weapon with substantial bodily injury
  • Armed robbery with substantial bodily injury
  • Bank robbery with substantial bodily injury
  • Robbery, strong armed, with substantial bodily injury
  • Fatal traffic accidents when vehicular homicide is suspected
  • Homicide autopsy

Does NOT include response to non-major crimes such as burglary, recovered stolen vehicle, evidence collection from officer at hospital, consensual sexual cases, single vehicle fatality or response to collect a piece of evidence in the absence of a CSI officer

Latent Print Processing (Expected average turnaround time within 90 days)

  • Appropriate chemical or powder processing of submitted items
  • Development and submission of latent prints of value

Latent Print Comparison (Expected average turnaround time within 30 days)

  • Evaluation of submitted prints- determination of value ( As of 7/1/16, the Forensic Science Division will no longer accept post mortem prints for evaluation/file.  Please submit post mortem prints as a reference standard for comparison purposes only)
  • WIN/ABIS (Western Identification Network/Automated Biometric Identification System)
  • Known subject comparison

 Photo Laboratory Services (Expected average turnaround time within 14 days)

  • Creation of CDs from scene photos taken by FIS
  • CDs created from previously processed 35mm negatives

 Primary Examination (Expected average turnaround time within 90 days)

  • Presumptive and confirmatory stain characterization
    • Semen (presence of sperm cells)
    • Seminal fluid (absence of sperm cells)
    • Saliva
    • Blood including human blood
  • Determination of human vs animal hair and suitability of hair for DNA testing

 DNA Analysis (Expected average turnaround time crimes v persons within 90 days)

  • Homicide (up to 15 evidentiary samples and 10 reference samples)
  • Sexual crimes (with presence of sperm up to 3 evidentiary samples and 5 reference samples)
  • Sexual crimes (absence of sperm up to 5 evidentiary samples and 5 reference samples)
  • Crimes against a person (up to 4 evidentiary samples and 5 reference samples)
  • Property crimes (up to 2 evidentiary samples and 5 reference samples)
  • DNA samples in addition to above limits can be processed at $250.00 per hour

 Forensic services within the existing capabilities of the laboratory do NOT include the following:

  • DNA analysis on weapons violations, possession of stolen property, found property, vandalism, controlled substances, and larceny.
  • Trace evidence analysis: fibers, glass, paint, hair, chemical unknowns, physical match and explosive materials
  • Shoe and tire impression comparison
  • Latent print processing or DNA analysis of fired cartridge casings.
  • Document examination such as handwriting comparisons
  • Consultation on casework  performed by other laboratories
  • Casework or testimony on civil matters

 Incomplete Case Submissions:  After making one attempt to obtain all required information, examination requests that are missing information will be held for up to 30 days awaiting complete information. If the information is not received, the examination will be cancelled, no report will be issued, and the evidence will be returned to the submitting agency.

Note: The following services are provided by the Forensic Science Division but are not included as part of this contract as they are funded by other means.

  • The Breath Alcohol Program is funded by the State.
  • DNA analysis of convicted offenders samples per NRS 176.0913. The funding for this analysis is provided through the $150.00 fee collection per NRS 176.0915 and grant funding.
  • DNA Analysis of Arrestee sample for the database. This is funded through an administrative assessment per NRS 176.0623.
  • The IBIS/NIBIN (Integrated Ballistic Identification System/National Integrated Ballistic Information Network) (firearms database) is included for all agencies. This is not a service that is charged for.

For Toxicology Scope of Work, see the Toxicology Section on this site.  (expected average turnaround time for alcohol testing is within 14 days and for drug testing is within 90 days)

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