Already for some decades lateral flow assays (LFAs) are ‘common use’ devices in our daily life. Also, for forensic use LFAs are developed, such as for the analysis of illicit drugs and DNA, but also for the detection of explosives and body fluid identification. Despite their advantages, including ease-of-use, LFAs are not yet frequently applied at a crime scene. This review describes (academic) developments of LFAs for forensic applications, focusing on biological and chemical applications, whereby the main advantages and disadvantages of LFAs for the different forensic applications are summarized. Additionally, a critical review is provided, discussing why LFAs are not frequently applied within the forensic field and highlighting the steps that are needed to bring LFAs to the forensic market.