Legal Defense for Drug Offenses in the US Military
In the US military, possession, use, sale, or furnishing of any drug, drug paraphernalia, or intoxicating substance is considered a drug offense. Drug offenses are always considered serious, and consequences range from termination from duty to lifetime in jail. Many drug offenses are considered felonies. Because of the weighty nature of drug offenses in the military, it’s crucial to retain a military defense attorney to ensure that you are given a fair and just trial.
As you know, drug testing is something that takes place regularly. Urinalysis tests are often done randomly, but they can also be ordered by command, in which case there must be probable cause. Military members who test positive on drug tests usually face adverse action which often results in the termination of his or her military career. In extreme cases of military drug offenses, the accused can be federally convicted and confined.
A positive urinalysis can be a career changer. However, if your sample is deemed positive, you have options. Make sure you contact a military defense attorney as soon as possible to ensure that you make the best possible decisions for your situation.
What do Military Drug Screenings Test For?Military urinalysis tests screen for marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines such as methamphetamine, LSD, opiates (including morphine and heroin), barbiturates and PCP. The most common substances detected in these tests and used as against service members are marijuana, cocaine, and heroin.
- Marijuana: Often the most commonly found in military drug tests, marijuana is detected in a urinalysis test within 1-3 weeks.
- Cocaine: Another commonly discovered drug in urinalysis tests, cocaine is detected within about 2-4 days or use.
- Heroin: Opiates including heroin are detectable within 1-2 days of use.
What Happens After I Test Positive
When you are asked to submit a urinalysis test, you’re usually given two hours to submit your sample. After that point, your sample is sent to a Department of Defense urine testing laboratory. Specifically, the Air Force Drug Testing Laboratory in Lackland, TX, the US Army facilities at Fort Meade or Tripler AMC in Hawaii, or one of the three US Navy drug testing facilities. These labs test urine samples for certain substances using advanced detection techniques. The Department of Defense tests roughly 60,000 random urine samples per month. Most errors occur during collection. If a sample tests positive, the member’s command is notified and disciplinary action begins. It usually takes about 30 days for your test results to get back to your base. In the meantime, even if you are worried that your sample might be deemed positive, do not talk about the test.
After being tested positive, you’ll likely be interviewed. You will probably be asked, “Do you know how you could have tested positive?” The smartest thing to do in order to avoid a drug conviction is to remain silent until you meet with an experienced military defense attorney. Most members who are convicted of drugs are convicted because of things they did and said after they found out that they tested positive. If you do not talk about the situation after your result comes in, your case is considered “naked urinalysis”, which means the military must convict you on the urinalysis test alone. Often, this does not constitute proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
Surprisingly, many cases are found to be innocent positive tests. There are several reasons for this including issues with the testing process or facility, or innocent ingestion. In the past, problems with a military base’s testing facility has led to incorrect termination for numerous employees. If you or someone you know has been charged with a drug offense, it’s absolutely vital to employ a competent and aggressive legal team with extensive military legal skill and experience.
These cases are especially fragile as the results can be life-altering. We are dedicated to treating every client with the utmost respect, understanding and compassion. At Military Trial Defenders, we know what it means to serve, and we do everything in our power to protect your rights. We are available to any and all military members regardless of their duty station.
As military defense attorneys, we have successfully participated in hundreds of drug conviction cases. We have the skill and extensive experience necessary to win you the justice you deserve. Contact us today to get started on your case.