Do you know how to access the lab procedures for the NC State Crime Laboratory? It is important for attorneys to review these procedures so that they understand how the laboratory evidence in their case was analyzed.
The method for accessing lab procedures changed in 2018. Previously, there were links to the current lab procedures on the State Crime Lab’s ISO Procedures webpage. Now, the Lab has placed the documents on a SharePoint site to provide access to both current and historical/archived procedures.
To access the procedures, an attorney should follow these steps (which are also described on the Lab’s website):
- Email the Lab (click and an email will open in a new window).
- The Lab will reply to your email, sending you a link to access to the policies and procedures via the SharePoint site.
- Access to the SharePoint site requires an active Microsoft account. If you do not have one, you may create one for free during the login process.
- If you have previously been granted access, you may use this link to access the site: Crime Laboratory Policies and Procedures.
In my experience, the Lab responds quickly to these requests during business hours, but depending on one’s familiarity with using a SharePoint site, it may take a little longer to learn to navigate this system. Also, because a request and a reply is needed, attorneys should request this access now, before they have a pressing need for immediate access.
As with any change, there is a learning curve, but this change is an improvement for the defense bar because it allows access to archived procedures. The Lab regularly updates its procedures, so it is important to understand both the procedure in effect at the time the evidence was tested, and the current procedure, if there has been a change.