Drug Use in the Military Charges
The military does not encourage or condone the use of illicit drugs. As a military servicemember, you are required to submit to random drug tests. Failing these drug tests can have serious military and criminal consequences. It is important to know that it is not impossible to defeat allegations of drug use in the military. An experienced civilian military defense attorney can help to keep your military record clean. However, it is important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. The sooner we can begin to investigate your case, the better your chances of a successful outcome. Contact our San Diego office today for immediate assistance.
Testing Positive for Illegal Drug Use in the Military
All active duty military servicemembers submit a urine sample for drug testing at least once a year. These drug tests screen for the presence of marijuana, amphetamines, and cocaine. In some cases, the urinalysis will screen for the presence of other drugs, including steroids, morphine, heroin, barbiturates, and LSD. There are different ways the military can perform a drug test on its servicemembers.
- Random Testing. A commander can request that all or some of his/her unit submit urine samples for testing. All requests must be truly random. The results of a random drug test can be used against you in both administrative and court-martial proceedings.
- Probable Cause. A commander can request that a specific military service member be required to submit to a drug test. The commander must have probable cause to believe that you are under the influence or currently using illicit drugs. The results of a drug test based on probable cause can be used against you in both administrative and court-martial proceedings.
- Medical Testing. Drug testing can be performed for medical reasons. All new servicemembers must submit a urine sample. Servicemembers cannot refuse drug tests when they are administered for medical testing. The results of a drug test for medical testing can be used against you in both administrative and court-martial proceedings.
- Consent. A commander can ask you to consent to a drug test. If you do consent to a drug test the results can be used against you in both administrative and court-martial proceedings.
- By Order of Your Commander. A commander can order you to submit a urine sample for a drug test. The results of a commander ordered drug test (when probable cause is not present) cannot be used against you in administrative or court-martial proceedings. The results can be used to discharge you. However, the results cannot be used to characterize the type of discharge you receive.
Challenging a Positive Drug Test in the Military
Just because your urinalysis comes back positive does not mean that your future in the military is over. There are many ways that an experienced civilian military defense attorney can challenge the validity of your drug test results. Our attorneys, with the help of well-respected toxicologists, will thoroughly investigate your alleged offense. It is extremely important that you are honest and forthcoming with your attorney. Our investigation will start with a discussion about your alleged drug use. We will ask about any medications you take, foods you regularly eat, and places you have recently visited. Do not hold back information that you may believe is harmful to your case. The information you provide will serve as the basis for the rest of our investigation. The more information we have to work with, the better your chances of success.
Our investigation will include:
- Reviewing the testing procedures at the lab where your urine sample was tested;
- Determining which medications could have triggered a false-positive result;
- Reviewing the way your urine sample was collected, transported, stored, and guarded; and
- Analyzing the urinalysis results for irregularities and problems.
Why Would My Military Drug Test Have a False Positive?
Drug tests can report a false-positive for a variety of reasons. Common reasons that drug tests reflect a false positive include:
- Use of herbal supplements and/or vitamins;
- Eating certain foods;
- Manufacturing errors;
- Improperly stored samples;
- Misapplication of testing procedures;
- Misapplication of testing parameters;
- Improperly labeled samples;
- Use of over-the-counter drugs;
- Use of pain medicine; and
- Use of antidepressant or antianxiety drugs.
It is incredibly important to be very honest about the drugs you do take. The legal drugs you do consume could trigger a false-positive on your military drug test. Your attorney can help to fight any military drug use charges you face if you are honest about your daily habits.
Hiring an Experienced Civilian Military Drug Defense Attorney
If you are facing charges for drug use in the military it is important to contact an attorney. Your future in the military will depend on the decisions you make today. Drug use in the military can have serious consequences. You can face administrative and court-martial penalties including loss of pay, imprisonment, and even involuntary discharge. Avoid these consequences by contacting an experienced attorney to defend you.