Article 112a of the Uniform Code of Military Justice directly prohibits the wrongful use and possession of controlled substances. While military members willingly submit themselves to the UCMJ when they take their oath of enlistment, there are many myths and misconceptions surrounding article 112a and drug use infractions. If you have recently tested positive on a urinalysis test, a UCMJ attorney can help you sort out your case and get the facts straight. The team at Military Trial Defenders is ready to help those in need.
True or False
“It is unlikely that I will face a drug test during my military career.”
This is definitely false. The military has adopted a “Zero Tolerance” policy to drug use. It utilizes a very active drug testing program to promote safety and security. Urinalysis tests are the most popular means of drug testing, and the military screens roughly 60,000 urine samples per month.
“If you test positive on a urinalysis test, you are guilty.”
Actually, this is false. While testing positive does indicate that you have drugs in your system, drug use is only technically illegal under the Article 112 of UCMJ if it is “wrongful use”, a.k.a. conscious and knowing. It is definitely possible that a mistake took place. This can manifest by taking the wrong prescription, having a drink tampered with, or unknowingly ingesting food laced with drugs. Thus, though urinalysis tests do technically prove that drugs are in the body, they do not prove:
- The method of ingestion
- Whether or not the substance was knowingly ingested by the service member
- How many times the substance was ingested
If your case allows for it, a UCMJ attorney can help you build a defense based on these exceptions.
“You can be convicted based on your drug test alone.”
This is mostly false. The military predominantly operates under the assumption that a positive drug test indicates willing and conscious use of drugs, but most juries want to know the facts behind the ingestion. The most common drug defenses include: passive inhalation, innocent inhalation, innocent ingestion, and switched samples in a drug testing lab. In general, juries listen to the details of the defense and seriously consider their validity. A solid UCMJ attorney will be able to discern the best mode of defense given the circumstances of the case.
How a UCMJ Attorney Can Defend Your Case
While drug use is one of the more common military infractions, most military members are unready to face these cases on their own. So, if you have been charged with the ingestion of a controlled substance and are worried that your military career is over, don’t give up yet. An experienced UCMJ attorney, such as an attorney at Military Trial Defenders, are equipped to defend you in this trying time. With this in mind, contact our defense team today for a consultation and to learn more facts about drug defense.