The Department of Forensic Science (DFS), established by Virginia law, provides “forensic laboratory services upon request of the Superintendent of State Police; the Chief Medical Examiner, the Assistant Chief Medical Examiners, and local medical examiners; any attorney for the Commonwealth; any chief of police, sheriff, or sergeant responsible for law enforcement in the jurisdiction served by him; any local fire department; the head of any private police department that has been designated as a criminal justice agency by the Department of Criminal Justice Services as defined by § 9.1-101; or any state agency in any criminal matter. The Department shall provide such services to any federal investigatory agency within available resources.” (Code of Virginia, § 9.1-1101, emphasis added)
Each of the four laboratories is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM to accept and return evidence. However, laboratories will be closed on State holidays.
Evidence submission information and instructions are provided in the Evidence Handling& Laboratory Capabilities Guide beginning on page I-1.
Cases may be transferred within the Department to maximize staff resources. All Department of Forensic Science laboratories follow the same Quality Manual and same technical procedures.
Evidence may be submitted to your designated regional laboratory. If the requested examination is not performed at your regional laboratory, the case will be transferred within DFS to another one of our laboratories that does perform the examination. For example, if a Digital & Multimedia Evidence examination is required in Virginia Beach, the evidence should be submitted to the Eastern Laboratory in Norfolk, and DFS will transfer it to the Central Laboratory in Richmond.