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RULE §651.203Forensic Disciplines Subject to Commission Licensing; Categories of Licensure

(a) Forensic analysis/recognized accreditation. This section describes the forensic disciplines for which accreditation by an accrediting body recognized by the Commission is required by Article 38.01, Code of Criminal Procedure and for which licensing is therefore also required.

(b) By discipline. An individual may apply to the Commission for a Forensic Analyst License for one or more of the disciplines set forth in this section. The specific requirements for obtaining a license in any of the following disciplines may differ depending upon the categories of analysis within the discipline for which the individual is qualified to perform independent casework as set forth in §651.207 of this subchapter (relating to Forensic Analyst Licensing Requirements Including License Term, Fee and Procedure for Denial of Application and Reconsideration). An individual's license shall designate the category or categories of licensure for which the individual has been approved for independent casework and for which the individual has met the requirements set forth in §651.207 of this subchapter as follows:

  (1) Seized Drugs. Categories of analysis may include one or more of the following: qualitative determination, quantitative measurement, weight measurement, and volume measurement; Categories of Licensure: Seized Drugs Analyst; Seized Drugs Technician;

  (2) Toxicology. Categories of analysis may include one or more of the following: qualitative determination and quantitative measurement; Categories of Licensure: Toxicology Analyst Alcohol only (Non-interpretive); Toxicology Analyst (General, Non-interpretive); Toxicologist (Interpretive); Toxicology Technician;

  (3) Forensic Biology. Categories of analysis may include one or more of the following: DNA-STR, DNA-YSTR, DNA-Mitochondrial, DNA-SNP, body fluid identification, relationship testing, microbiology, individual characteristic database, and nucleic acids other than human DNA; Categories of Licensure: DNA Analyst; Forensic Biology Screening Analyst; Analyst of Nucleic Acids other than Human DNA; Forensic Biology Technician;

  (4) Firearms/Toolmarks. Categories of analysis may include one or more of the following: physical comparison, determination of functionality, length measurement, trigger pull force measurement, qualitative chemical determination, distance determination, ejection pattern determination, product (make/model) determination, evaluation of firearm-related evidence for NIBIN suitability, performance of NIBIN entries and individual characteristic database; Categories of Licensure: Firearms/Toolmarks Analyst; Firearms/Toolmarks Technician;

  (5) Materials (Trace). Categories of analysis may include one or more of the following: physical determination, chemical determination, chemical comparison, product (make/model) determination, gunshot residue analysis, footwear and tire tread analysis, and fire debris and explosives analysis (qualitative determination); Categories of Licensure: Materials (Trace) Analyst; Materials (Trace) Technician.

(c) Cross-disciplines. A laboratory may choose to assign a particular discipline or category of analysis to a different administrative section or unit in the laboratory than the designation set forth in this subchapter. Though an individual may perform a category of analysis under a different administrative section or unit in the laboratory, the individual still shall comply with the requirements for the discipline or category of analysis as outlined in this subchapter.

(d) Analysts and Technicians Performing Forensic Analysis on Behalf of the United States Government. Any forensic analyst or technician who performs forensic analysis on behalf of a publicly funded laboratory or law enforcement entity operating under the authority of the United States Government is deemed licensed to perform forensic analysis in Texas for purposes of this subchapter.

Source Note: The provisions of this §651.203 adopted to be effective May 16, 2018, 43 TexReg 3106; amended to be effective November 25, 2018, 43 TexReg 7559; amended to be effective September 15, 2019, 44 TexReg 4875; amended to be effective April 5, 2020, 45 TexReg 2318

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