If you have tested positive on a military drug test, you need experienced representation. Your career is NOT automatically over. The services all have a ZERO tolerance policy for illegal drug use. This does NOT mean you will be automatically discharged or disciplined. You have options. The attorneys at JAG DEFENDERS know exactly how to handle your positive military urinalysis defense. Our Attorneys have extensive experience and a a long history of success in defending positive drug test cases. Contact us for a FREE consultation TODAY.
Defending a Positive Drug Test
The military screens approximately 60,000 urine samples per month at its urinalysis testing laboratories. When a service member is directed to submit a sample for drug testing they are required to do so that day, as soon as possible, and normally within 2 hours. Though individual service regulations vary, in each service the urinalysis program is normally a collateral duty program. The uranalysis coordinator is responsible for accurate and well-documented collection, packaging and shipping. Urine samples are then transported to a Department of Defense urine testing laboratory. The urine samples are tested and if a sample is deemed to be positive, that result is reported back to the member’s command for possible disciplinary action.
a. Types of Testing
The reason or bases for the collection vary and can impact the strategy for defending a positive drug test case. These bases include:
RANDOM URINALYSIS: A computer or other system randomly picks service members for testing. This is very common and most frequently the basis for disciplinary action. As general matter a service member may not refuse to provide as ample and may be disciplined if the do so.
CONSENT: An investigator or command representative may ASK a service member for consent or PERMISSION to take sample for testing. This sample, if positive, may be used for discipline. A SERVICE MEMBER DOES NOT HAVE TO CONSENT. If you are asked to provide a sample seek legal advice immediately.
PROBABLE CAUSE: If a commander has a reasonable belief a service member has used illegal drugs he/she may issue a search authorization and order the service member to provide a sample. This is the military equivalent of a civilian warrant. What this means is the member command thinks the member is illegally using drugs. This sample may be used for disciplinary purposes. including a court-martial. SEEK LEGAL COUNSEL IMMEDIATELY.
COMMAND DIRECTED: If a commander has “reasonable suspicion” that a member is using illegal drugs the commander may ORDER the member to provide a sample. Because this is an order based upon suspicion the use of positive sample taken under these circumstances is limited. It generally MAY NOT be used for discipline or discharge. However, it still may mean significant negative consequences for the member.
b. Possible Defenses
COLLECTION and TESING ERRORS: The urinalysis system is administered and executed by PEOPLE. Mistakes are made. FREQUENTLY. the services consistently assert the system is virtually error free. THEY ARE WRONG. The instructions detailing collection, packaging, shipping and chain of custody must be followed EXACTLY. Testing must likewise follow rules and guidelines EXACTLY. At JAG DFENDERS our attorneys are EXPERT at uncovering errors in both collection and testing. Our extensive experience very often finds errors OTHER ATTORNEYS MISS.
INNOCENT INGESTION: Simply having a drug allegedly in a members urine is not enough for disciplinary action. The service must prove the member “knowingly and consciously” used the drug. The burden is on the government to prove this. However, this is a complicated defense to present. If you innocently ingested a drug and are facing disciplinary or administrative action you should not go it alone. The attorneys at JAGDEFENDERS have extensive experience in innocent ingestion cases. Our attorneys use the latest in forensic analysis and toxicology to support an defense of innocent ingestion.
If you have tested positive or are being asked or directed to provide a sample you need experienced legal counsel. We encourage you to reach out to JAG DEFENDERS for a FREE consultation.