Forensic Science is an emerging branch of science that is a combination of scientific investigations and law. It is formed from two Latin words- “forensis” and “science” which help in solving a crime scene and analyzing the evidence. This is a core branch of science involving a lot of precision of science and law. Using scientific methods in solving cases has been practiced since an ancient era where the trial was held publicly as it used to carry a strong judicial connotation. With the advancement of science and technology has led the forensic field to foster.
The things forensic science experts perform are the examination of the body also known as an autopsy, document identification, evidence examination, a search of the crime scene, collecting fingerprints, and analyzing a small sample of blood, saliva, or any other fluids for determination and identification processes. In jurisprudence, forensics involves the application of knowledge and technology from several scientific fields. Biology, pharmacy, chemistry, medicine, and so on are the examples as each of them applies in today’s more complex legal proceedings in which experts from these fields are hard to prove offences. Forensic science is the application of medical and paramedical expertise to assist the administration of justice in solving legal matters or in the court of law. The forensic findings can be used in a court of law as a piece of evidence and thus can be useful in solving a legal matter or dispute.
Forensic Science has various branches like Forensic biology, forensic physics, computational forensic, digital forensics, forensic accounting, forensic anthropology, forensic archaeology, forensic astronomy, forensic ballistic, forensic botany, forensic chemistry, forensic dactyloscopy, forensic document examination, forensic DNA analysis, forensic entomology, forensic geology, forensic linguistics, forensic meteorology, forensic odontology, forensic pathology, forensic podiatry, forensic toxicology, forensic psychology, forensic economics, criminology and wildlife forensics.
- Forensic biology – Forensic Biology is the use of biological scientific principles and processes, generally in a legal setting. Forensic biologists examine plants cellular and tissue samples, as well as physiological fluids, in the course of a legal inquiry.
- Forensic physics – Forensic physics is the use of physics for civil or criminal law objectives. Forensic physics has typically entailed the determination of density (soil and glass investigation), the refractive index of materials, and birefringence for fibre analysis. Ballistics is a sub-discipline of forensic physics.
- Computational forensic – Computational science is being used to investigate and solve problems in several sectors of forensic research.
- Digital forensics – It specialises in retrieving data from electronic and digital media.
- Forensic accounting – Accounting for forensic purposes investigates and evaluates facts pertaining to accounting.
- Forensic anthropology – Forensic anthropology is the use of anthropology and osteology to establish information about a human body in an advanced stage of decomposition.
- Forensic archaeology – Archaeology for forensic purposes is the branch in which archaeological approaches are used
- Forensic astronomy – Astronomy for forensic purposes is the use of celestial constellations to address legal concerns is quite uncommon. It is most commonly utilised to solve historical issues.
- Forensic ballistic – Forensic Ballistics is the examination of any evidence pertaining to weapons (bullets, bullet marks, shell casings, gunpowder residue etc.)
- Forensic botany – Plant leaves, seeds, pollen, and other plant life found on the crime scene, victim, or accused can give solid proof of the accused’s presence.
- Forensic chemistry – Forensic chemistry focuses on the investigation of illegal narcotics, gunshot residue, and other chemical compounds.
- Forensic dactyloscopy – Dactyloscopy for forensic purposes relates to the collection, preservation, and analysis of fingerprint evidence.
- Forensic document examination – Examining forensic documents investigates, researches, and determines the facts of documents under dispute in court.
- Forensic DNA analysis – This branch of forensic science focuses on the collecting and analysis of DNA evidence for use in court.
- Forensic entomology – It investigates insects discovered at the scene of a crime or on the body of a victim, and it is especially useful in pinpointing the time and place of the victim’s death.
- Forensic geology – Geology for forensic purposes entails the use of geological variables such as soil and minerals to obtain evidence for a crime.
- Forensic linguistics – It is the study of the language used in judicial procedures. Emergency calls, voice identification, ransom demands, suicide notes, and so on are all examples.
- Forensic meteorology – It includes using meteorological variables to ascertain details about a crime. It is most frequently applied in instances involving insurance companies and homicides.
- Forensic odontology – It refers to the investigation of dental evidence.
- Forensic pathology – This branch of forensic science is concerned with the examination of a body and identifying factors such as the cause of death.
- Forensic podiatry – Forensic podiatry refers to the investigation of footprint evidence.
- Forensic toxicology – A forensic toxicologist investigates toxic compounds found on or in a body, such as narcotics, e-liquid, and poisons.
- Forensic Psychology – Forensic Psychology and Forensic Psychiatry are two branches of forensic medicine. These are concerned with the legal implications of human activity.
- Forensic economics – This is the investigation and analysis of economic damage evidence, which includes present-day estimations of lost earnings and benefits, the lost value of a firm, lost business profits, lost value of home services, replacement labour expenses, and future medical care expenditures.
- Criminology – In criminal investigations, this involves the use of several disciplines to answer issues about the study and comparison of biological evidence, trace evidence, impression evidence (such as fingerprints, shoeprints, and tyre tracks), restricted drugs, and guns.
- Wildlife forensics – This involves the investigation of crime situations involving animals, such as endangered species or animals that have been unlawfully killed or poached.
When it comes to life and death situations, the objective proof is critical. In the past, significant evidence in criminal prosecutions might have come from witnesses or other subjective sources, but forensic science now provides for objective evidence. That is, forensic evidence, which is based on the scientific approach, is considered more dependable than even eyewitness testimony. In a legal system that holds that the accused is innocent until proven guilty, forensic scientists’ evidence is now routinely used by both the defence and the prosecution in many court cases. While Forensic Toxicologists, for example, may work most closely with law enforcement or the courts after a crime has been committed, Forensic Psychologists (also known as Profilers) might step in even before a suspect has been identified to assist prevent future crimes.