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Forensic Criminalistics

Forensic Criminalistics

Forensic criminalistics specialists are known as criminalists and specialize in forensic science that analyzes and interprets evidence using the natural sciences. They use physical evidence to re-create crime scenes in order to solve crimes. They use their examination of physical evidence and reconstructed crime scenes to make a link between certain articles of evidence to a suspect. Unlike the work of a forensic scientist, the job of a criminalist would be more about the management of evidence and positively identifying its place in the crime scene. Closely related, forensic criminalistics experts and forensic scientists might share similar responsibilities and job duties. Criminalists testify in court, interpret evidence, and use evidence to prove a suspect's innocence or guilt in a trial.

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There are many subfields of forensic criminalistics that specialize in a special field of evidence. Some subfields may include firearms and tool marks, DNA and serology, trace evidence, drugs, alcohol, and toxicology. The subfield of firearms might include the examination of bullet fragments and determining their caliber and confirming which firearm fired them. DNA and serology deals with the link of a suspect to the crime through bodily fluids, which is also related to the field that studies trace evidence such as fibers, hairs, and other microscopic elements, to link a suspect and crime scene. Criminalists use their knowledge of the chemical make-up of drugs and alcohol to determine the existence of controlled substances and their origins. The job of a forensic criminalistics specialist may require specific study in the field. Advanced studies and field experience may mean more responsibility and a higher salary. The most prestigious positions in the field might be reserved for those professionals with the most experience.