Forensic Laboratory

The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office Forensic Laboratory is accredited in the field of Forensic Calibration in the discipline of Toxicology and is accredited in the field of Forensic Testing in the disciplines of Biology, Document Examination, Firearms and Toolmarks, Friction Ridge, Scene Investigation, Seized Drugs, and Toxicology.  The laboratory is accredited by the ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) to ISO/IEC 17025:2017 International Standard. 

The current accreditation status and scope can be located on the ANSI National Accreditation Board website under the Directory of Accredited Organizations.

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; document blood stain patterns; document bullet trajectories; process items for latent prints; collect biological material, firearms evidence, impression evidence, 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.