Code of the District of Columbia

§ 5–113.31. Definitions.

For the purposes of this part, the term:

(1) “Biological material” means a sexual assault forensic examination kit, semen, vaginal fluid, blood, saliva, observable skin tissue, or hair which apparently derived from the perpetrator of a crime or, under circumstances that may be probative of the perpetrator’s identity, apparently derived from the victim of a crime.

(2) “Case jacket” means the primary file for an investigation of a crime which contains all of the investigative reports, papers, and documents specific to the investigation, including notes, transcripts of interviews, witness statements, photos, and audio and video tapes.

(3)(A) “Closed investigation” means the investigation of a crime:

(i) In which the suspect or, in a case with multiple suspects, each of the suspects:

(I) Has been found or pled guilty and judgment has been entered;

(II) Has been found not guilty by reason of insanity;

(III) Has been found incompetent to stand trial and is not likely to regain competency before the expiration of the statute of limitations;

(IV) Is incarcerated and serving a sentence of either life without release or a term of years that is equivalent to life without release for a crime other than the crime being investigated; or

(V) Has died; or

(ii) In which the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia or the Corporation Counsel for the District of Columbia has declined prosecution on grounds that permanently eliminate all possibility of prosecution and has authorized the return of evidence to the rightful owner.

(B) A law enforcement agency shall consider a crime closed under subparagraph (A)(i)(IV) or (V) of this paragraph only if the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia or the Corporation Counsel for the District of Columbia has certified, for investigations under the prosecutorial jurisdiction of each, that there would be sufficient evidence to prosecute the suspect or suspects if the suspect or suspects were alive or not incarcerated, and declines prosecution on the grounds that the suspect or suspects are dead or incarcerated.

(4) “Crime scene examination case file” means the primary file for an investigation’s crime scene which contains investigative documents and reports; toxicology, DNA testing, and other forensic examination results; evidence reports; photographs; and other documents pertaining to the investigation.

(5) “DNA” means deoxyribonucleic acid.

(6) “DNA testing” means forensic DNA analysis of biological material.

(7) “Domestic partner” has the same meaning as contained in § 32-701(3).

(8) “Family” means:

(A) A homicide victim’s spouse, spouse’s parents, domestic partner, children, including biological, step, and adopted, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, stepparents, nieces, nephews, siblings, or half siblings;

(B) A person who is a survivor of a homicide victim and who was primarily dependent upon the victim for care and support at the time of the commission of the homicide, including a child of the victim born after the victim’s death; or

(C) A person who is a survivor of a homicide victim and upon whom the victim was primarily dependent for care and support at the time of the commission of the homicide.

(9) “Law enforcement agencies” means the Metropolitan Police Department, the Corporation Counsel for the District of Columbia, prosecutors, or any other governmental agency, with the exception of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, that has the authority to investigate, make arrests for, or prosecute or adjudicate District of Columbia criminal or delinquency offenses. The term “law enforcement agencies” shall include law enforcement agencies that have entered into cooperative agreements with the Metropolitan Police Department pursuant to § 5-133.17, to the extent the law enforcement agency is acting pursuant to such a cooperative agreement.

(10) “Open investigation” means the investigation of a crime other than those considered to be closed investigations as described in paragraph (3) of this section.

(11) “Records retention schedule” means a document listing all of the records originating in the Metropolitan Police Department, specifying series of records to be retained permanently, and authorizing on a continued basis the destruction of other series of records after a specified time period has elapsed.

(12) “Statute of limitations” means the time limitations imposed on actions for criminal violations pursuant to § 23-113.


(July 15, 2004, D.C. Law 15-174, § 101, 51 DCR 3677.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 5-1412.