Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences (ADFS)?

The Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences (ADFS) is an independent state agency which provides forensic services to law enforcement agencies throughout the State of Alabama. The purpose is to provide unbiased scientific analysis of evidence in the pursuit of justice in the criminal system. ADFS was established in 1935 and is one of the oldest forensic agencies in the country.  To learn more about the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences, please click here.

2. What services does ADFS provide and is there a charge?

ADFS offers analytical services in Forensic Pathology, Drug Chemistry, Forensic Biology/DNA, Firearm and Toolmark, Forensic Toxicology, Death Investigation, and Implied Consent/Draeger Training. There is no charge for these services for law enforcement agencies including prosecutorial and defense attorneys in criminal cases. ADFS does not provide these services for civil cases.

3. How do I request a copy of the Lab report?

Lab reports are obtained by first completing the Request for Certified Copy Form and then mailing it to:

Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences
1051 Wire Road
Auburn, Alabama 36832


There is a fee of $10.00 for this service.

4. How do I get a job with the Lab?

Applications for employment are processed by the Personnel Department of the State of Alabama. Please visit http://personnel.alabama.gov for employment opportunities.

5. What is an autopsy and is there a charge?

An autopsy is the examination and dissection of a decedent by a physician for the purpose of determining the cause and manner of death, obtaining specimens for specialized testing, retrieving physical evidence and identifying the decedent. This is a free service provided to the citizens of the State of Alabama.

6. Who can order an autopsy?

The Code of Alabama 1975, Section 36-18-2 states that investigations, including any necessary autopsy of unlawful, suspicious or unnatural deaths and crimes may only be ordered by the 1) Governor, 2) the Attorney General, 3) any circuit judge, or 4) any district attorney in the State of Alabama. ADFS cooperates with the coroners, sheriffs and other criminal justice agencies in Alabama in their investigations of crimes and deaths from unlawful, suspicious or unnatural causes.

7. Is external training provided by the ADFS Labs to Law Enforcement?

The Implied Consent Section of ADFS, through legislative mandate (§32-5A-194), provides instruments, instrument support, and operator training at no cost to criminal justice agencies statewide. Instrument services, such as, calibration and repair are performed primarily in-house. The Implied Consent Section has trained and permitted over 12,000 operators in the use of the Draeger Alcotest 7110 MKIII. There are over 200 classes scheduled throughout the state each year to accommodate the 4000 active Draeger operators.

ADFS recognizes the importance of continuing education and strives to be an active participant in training employees of the criminal justice system. Requests for training should be directed to the Laboratory Director for your area.

 

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