The Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Virginia Code § 2.2-3700 et seq.) guarantees citizens of the Commonwealth and representatives of the media access to public records held by public bodies. General information regarding the rights of requestors and the Department’s responsibilities under FOIA can be found here.
Please note that the Department’s Breath Alcohol Section responds to FOIA requests for breath alcohol records. Additional information regarding those requests can be found here.
To request any other records from the Department of Forensic Science, you may direct your request to Department Counsel, Amy Curtis Jenkins, who is the Department’s FOIA Officer, designated pursuant to Virginia Code § 2.2-3704.2. Ms. Jenkins can be reached at:
700 North Fifth Street
Richmond, VA 23219
The Department’s case files are “criminal investigative files,” which are exempt from mandatory disclosure under Virginia Code § 2.2-3706(B)(1). The Department routinely declines to release its case file documentation under FOIA to avoid interfering with criminal investigations, to protect a defendant’s right to a fair trial, and to protect the privacy of the individuals involved. The Department does not consider whether a criminal investigation is ongoing or has been closed in declining the discretionary release of those records. See Fitzgerald v. Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, 289 Va. 499, 771 S.E.2d 858 (2015).
Although not released under FOIA, Certificates of Analysis will be provided to the parties pursuant to Virginia Code § 9.1-1104. Additionally, parties may obtain case file documentation via subpoena duces tecum or court order.