The following preliminary steps should be addressed prior to any of the case comparisons:
- Review laboratory protocols, as needed.
- Complete administrative requirements.
- Chain of custody.
- Marking of evidence.
- Laboratory case identifiers.
- Investigative file identifier.
- Examiner identity.
- Quality assurance.
- Follow laboratory safety protocols.
- Determine the presence of trace evidence and follow laboratory protocol for collection.
Examples of trace evidence include
- soft tissue,
- metal smears,
- Determine if latent fingerprint examinations should be performed prior to toolmark examinations.
- Determine if other examinations (not requested) should be performed. If so, coordinate with the investigator.