Forensics, also known as Forensic science, is a discipline utilizing the different areas of science to decide and answer questions in relation to civil or criminal cases. Forensics may refer to the one used in legal proceedings, or in debate and public speaking,
Forensic science is often used as an investigating method in court proceedings. It has been featured in various stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle particularly in the Sherlock Holmes detective series.
It is also the crime solution method preferred by the comic strip character Dick Tracy. The hit television series CSI or Criminal Scene Investigation makes use of Forensics in solving crimes that seem impossible to solve through ordinary methods.
Forensics has grown so widely-used and accepted in the realm of criminal and even civil procedure that it has been subdivided into different disciplines or expertise such as
- Forensic photography-the process of taking photos of crime scenes to be used as documentary evidence. This area of forensic is important because it allows crime investigators to document a crime scene through photographs, which can then be sued even after the crime scene has been cleared.
- Computer forensics-involves the use of a computer system and the Internet to recover electronic evidence which can be used to apprehend offenders.
- Forensic fingerprinting makes use of the imprints found in the crime scene to gather evidence on the identity of possible suspects and criminals. This method is said to be infallible because of the belief that each person has a unique fingerprint.
- Forensic psychology-is used in examining expert and ordinary witnesses. There are legitimate witnesses but there are also paid witnesses. Lawyers sometimes make use of this discipline to examine the credibility of a witness.
- Forensic Toxicology-is used to identify chemical substances that may have been used in the commission of a crime. This is particularly useful in drug cases or murder cases using poison or other substances,
- Forensic Pathology-used in examining fractures, lacerations and other injuries that may have been suffered by the victim, particularly a dead one.
- Forensic Odontology-related to the examination of dental markings. This is often used to identify a dead person whose facial or other physical characteristics may no longer be identifiable because of burning or mutilation.
- Forensic Serology-related to the study of DNA and other cases dependent on blood evidence.
- Forensic nursing-related to the role of nurses in examining victims of rape victims and other injured patients who may have played a role in the commission of the crime.
- Forensic Entomology-related to the study of the history of crime cases.