Forensic science is science used for the purpose of the law. Consequently, any branch of science used in the resolution of legal disputes is forensic science.
Confusion sometimes exists in the mind of the public between forensic scientists and those involved in forensic medicine (the latter is sometimes referred to as legal medicine). The forensic scientist, as defined above, can be involved in all types of criminal investigation but forensic medicos restrict their activities to criminal and civil cases where a human body is involved. These are nearly always serious cases such as murder and rape etc. and will require the participation of pathologists and/or police surgeons.
In its broadest sense, forensic science may be defined as any science that is used in the service of the justice system. Such a wide definition necessarily encompasses both civil disputes and criminal cases. However, in practice, forensic science is more likely to be involved in the investigation and resolution of criminal case