Division of Law Enforcement Services

Crime Laboratory Bureau FAQ


What kinds of analysis do the crime laboratories do?

Areas of analysis include DNA, Drug (Controlled Substances) Identification, Fingerprint Identification, Firearm/Toolmark Examination, Footwear/Tire Identification, Forensic Imaging, Toxicology, and Trace Evidence. The laboratories also provide Crime Scene Investigation services and maintain the state DNA Databank. More information about the work of the units can be found here.


Who can request lab services?
The crime laboratory participates in a criminal investigation only at the request of authorized governmental officials. Services are also available to the defendant in a felony action upon his or her request and with the approval of the presiding judge (Wis. Stat. §165.79(1)). Laboratories may decline any matter not involving a potential felony charge.


How long does it take to complete a case?

While many of the technical details depicted in TV and movies are accurate, one thing is almost always misrepresented: to fit the story line, results appear in minutes. The reality is that it often takes much longer to generate case results. Careful and accurate analysis takes time.


Are the crime laboratories open to the public for tours?

No, the crime laboratories are not open for public tours. This policy is designed to help maintain the integrity and security of evidence and reduce the possibility of contamination.


Do the crime laboratories offer internships?

For information, visit the DOJ Employment page.


Is job shadowing possible?

Only on a case-by-case basis, based on laboratory resources.


How do I request my DNA be expunged from the database?

Please follow the instructions on this form, DNA Databank Record Expungement Request DJ-LE-177


Unit Specific FAQs:

Controlled Substances



Firearms and Toolmarks