Forensic Laboratory

The San Mateo County Sheriff's Office Forensic Laboratory is accredited by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors - Laboratory Accreditation Board to ISO 17025 standards. The laboratory performs analyses in the following areas: Crime Scenes; Controlled Substances; Firearms and Toolmarks; Forensic Biology; Latent Prints; Questioned Documents; Toxicology; and Trace.

Contact Us:

50 Tower Road (View Map)
San Mateo, CA 94402
(650) 312-5306
(650) 356-0351

Forensic Scientists perform case work in the following areas:

Crime Scene Examinations

Crime scene work encompasses the recognition, documentation, collection, and preservation of physical evidence. In order to accomplish these tasks, the crime scene team may be required to: Photograph; Sketch/diagram; Document with notes; Take measurements; Interpret blood stain patterns; Determine bullet trajectories; Process items for latent prints; Collect biological material, firearms evidence, impression evidence (tool or tire marks, footprints, dust lifts,...), and other items of evidence that need to be processed at the laboratory.

Laboratory Examinations
  • Controlled Substances: Analyses of solid dose drugs.
  • Firearms and Toolmarks: Comparisons of firearms to bullets and casings, gun functionality testing, distance determination testing, gun shot residue testing, serial number restoration, and search of fired cartridge cases and bullets in the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN).
  • Forensic Biology: Detection and identification of body fluids on items of evidence, DNA typing and analysis, and search of unidentified DNA profiles in the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) and the National DNA Index System (NDIS).
  • Latent Prints: Process evidence for latent prints, comparisons of latent prints to victim elimination standards and suspect standards, and search of unidentified latent prints in various automated fingerprint identification systems (AFIS).
  • Toxicology: Analysis of alcohol in blood, breath, and beverages, training of all law enforcement officers to use the breath alcohol evidentiary testing instruments.