Criminalists Law and Legal Definition

Criminalists are very important members of any law enforcement department. They analyze and interpret evidence left at crime scenes, especially physical evidence. Criminalists help detectives resolve crimes, and they are often called as expert witnesses during trials. According to the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) criminalists analyze, compare, identify, and interpret physical evidence. The role of criminalists in investigations is to examine and interpret physical evidence and convey that information to police officials and prosecutors. Forensic anthropologists, medical examiners, ballistics experts, document examiners, serologists, toxicologists, chemists, molecular biologists, firearm & toolmark examiners, and dozens of other specialists fall into this category. Criminalists must examine the physical evidence and interpret it in a way that people without criminalists education and training can understand. A criminalist must present the evidence in the Court in a fair and unbiased manner.