(YTD as of March 1, 2024)

The turnaround times listed describe the length of time between evidence submission to report completion
(not analytical turnaround time, which is even shorter).

Seized Drugs

  • Jail priority cases (defendant currently in jail): 10 days
    average turnaround time (TAT)
  • Bond cases (defendant was released on bond): 14 days TAT
  • No arrest cases (no arrest has been made): 13 days TAT


  • Comparison cases: 30 days TAT
  • Non-comparison cases: 15 days TAT
  • 55% of all cases completed in less than 30 days


  • Sexual assault cases: 75 days TAT
  • Homicide cases: 88 days TAT


  • DWI alcohol cases: 30 days TAT
  • DWI alcohol + drug cases: 60 days TAT


  • Gunshot residue cases:: 50 days TAT

21,704 cases were submitted to the crime lab in 2023 by 84 agencies.
All testing performed in-house (not outsourced).

Mission:  To provide medical examiner and crime laboratory services of the highest quality in an unbiased manner with uncompromised integrity.

Who we are, and what we do: The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences is a science-based, independent operation comprised of two distinct forensic services for the Harris County community – the Medical Examiner Service and the Crime Laboratory Service.

The Medical Examiner Service investigates sudden death and deaths resulting from physical or chemical injury in order to determine cause and manner of death and to preserve evidence. The service encompasses the fields of Forensic Investigations, Forensic Pathology and Morgue Services, Forensic Anthropology, Forensic Imaging, and Histology.

The Crime Laboratory Service analyzes evidence and includes five distinct disciplines: Drug Chemistry, Firearms Identification, Forensic Genetics (serology/DNA), Forensic Toxicology and Trace Evidence.

While each service has its own objectives, all of these disciplines work collaboratively, and are jointly dedicated to servicing the needs of the Harris County community and the justice system.  

Accredited by 7 Forensic Science accrediting organizations, and
a member institution of the Texas Medical Center since 1983.

The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences complies with
the Texas Public Information Act (formerly the Open Records Act)
which allows the public the right to request access to
non-confidential, governmental information.