Defense Counsel for medicine Crime Court-Martials

The military is just one of the just jurisdictions in the nation that has the ability to criminally prosecute drug instances based just on a urinalysis check or a failed drug test.

You are watching: How long do military drug test results take

More regularly than not, drug situations are resolved through administrative processing for separation. The Air force tends come prosecute more cases at courts-martial than the other branches. If friend are dealing with an governmental separation board, the suffer of defense counsel can be critical. In an bureaucratic separation case, the resources for expert assistance native a toxicologist or chemist is often not available. The defense counsel must properly cross-examine a government toxicologist. The lawyer must additionally educate members of an governmental separation board on the science behind drug tests.

The decision come prosecute a drug and/or urinalysis instance can additionally be greatly personality dependent on the command. There are some units that space excessively aggressive in prosecuting urinalysis cases.


Aggressive counsel deserve to be an important in helping a command decide no to prosecute drug cases at a court-martial. Speak to Gary Myers, Daniel Conway & Associates’s military drug crime attorneys this day at (833) 934-8265.


What room the Commander"s Options?

A commander has actually several options when taking action against medicine crimes:

Courts-Martial – Court-martial measures are complicated and the armed forces Rules of proof apply.Nonjudicial punishment – Nonjudicial punishment steps are relatively simple. Watch U.S. DEP’T OFARMY, REG. 27-10, military JUSTICE ch. 3 (3 Oct. 2011).Reservists – Reservists might not obtain nonjudicial punishment under write-up 15 for drug usage unless use arisen while on federal duty. See article 2(d)(2) (reserve component personnel might be involuntarily recalled to active duty for nonjudicial punishment only with respect to offenses cursed while on federal duty) and United states v. Chodara, 29 M.J. 943 (A.C.M.R. 1990).Administrative Separations – every soldiers who are figured out as illegally abusing drugs will be handle for administrative separation. AR 600-85, para. 10-6. Mandatory handling does not average mandatory separation. Commander may recommend retention if warranted.Rules at governmental separations are much easier than in ~ a courts-martial. See U.S. DEP’T that ARMY, REG. 15-6, measures FOR INVESTIGATING officers ANDBOARDS OF policemans (2 Oct. 2006) .

Is processing for Separation Mandatory?

Processing because that separation is mandatory in positive urinalysis cases. Generally, the commanding officer has the government to determine that a urinalysis result was resulted in by bureaucratic errors (faulty chain the custody, proof tampering) or the the drug use was not wrongful (prescription, unknowing ingestion). In those cases, the optimistic urinalysis may not constitute a medicine abuse incident.

Processing is additionally mandatory when there is an admission of drug use, one or much more drug-related offenses, no dispute plea in civilian court, civilian conviction, or deferred civilian prosecution.

What are the regulations (updating with all branches of service)?

How long Does it Take for the Unit to receive Test Results?

Negative outcomes are usually posted top top the internet portal for program supervisors within 1-3 day(s) from the time specimens are received at the lab. Hopeful results room usually post on the portal within 3-5 work from the moment specimens are got at the lab.

How room Drug Samples tested in the Military?

Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Basically, the gas chromatography uses an inert gas to lug the urine v separation columns. The samples are broken down by boiling temperature and attraction to fluid or gas phases. Link are established by their separation times (retention times). ~ the compounds are broken down, the sample is ionized (bombarded through electrons). That procedure eventually to produce a molecular fingerprint the is read by a massive spectrometer. When offered properly, the results are considered to be exceptionally accurate.

It is extremely essential to note that this are basic drug detection windows. Additionally, our suffer is that various toxicologists indigenous the armed forces drug labs sometimes testify come slightly various drug detection windows throughout hearings.

Drug detection windows are extremely crucial for reservists, since reservists might not be convicted at a court-martial unless the drug use emerged while on commonwealth duty.

Variables the can impact military drug detection windows:

Method that ingestionAmount ingestedHistory that usageDrug metabolism and also half-lifePhysical conditionFluid intake prior to test

A Urinalysis test Does not Prove

Impairment – Under part circumstances, a service member deserve to unknowingly test hopeful for a prohibition substance having never competent the side results of the drug.Number that Uses – single or many usage.Method that Ingestion – whether the business member knowingly ingested the substance.

What wake up if you Fail a armed forces Drug Test?

Depending on your armed forces branch, if you get a optimistic drug test result, you may be topic to the complying with consequences:


Common Defenses for medicine Offenses in the Military

The most common defense in drug cases is the the company member did no knowingly ingest the substance in question. If you were to review short article 112 (a), UCMJ, you would notice that the usage of one illegal drug is just prohibited once the usage is wrongful. Making use of drugs is not wrongful once the business member lacks understanding of the contraband nature the the drug.

The federal government has written the adhering to language right into the regulation to do it much easier to prosecute cases based upon urinalysis tests. "Knowledge the the visibility of the controlled substance may be inferred native the presence of the regulated substance in the accused"s body..." The is called the presumptive inference.

Because of the language, defense counsel must have the an abilities to make the government expert toxicologist concede on cross-examination the an skilled cannot tell indigenous a urinalysis check whether a human being knowingly ingested the prohibition substance.

Switched Samples

This needs proof that the drug samples were mishandled. There have been instances over the year of collection personnel mislabeling samples, mishandling samples, or even making failure with personal identifying information. We can sometimes have actually samples retested.

False positive Drug Test result Or laboratory Error

Here room real-world examples of lab errors:

Mishandle samples throughout the repertoire processImproper shipping resulting in leakage and also cross-contaminationThere deserve to be rack jams during automated preliminary screeningSamples have the right to be diluted by the drug lab through "certified" clean urine the can result in potential errors in the dilution process and the math of calculating the resultsContaminated tubes and also equipment are possible at the labPaperwork have the right to be erroneously processed in ~ the medicine lab

A close testimonial of the drug lab report is necessary to for sure that procedures were followed.

Illegal or Unconstitutional Tests

A legal consultation is advisable whereby there is a question as to whether the command had probable reason to command the drug experimentation in the first instance. There room a number of different situations where commands can interact in subterfuge to conduct criminal searches or drug testing. Defense counsel have to aggressively defend your constitution rights.

The nature that the drug test is additionally important due to the fact that some tests just have minimal uses. Defense counsel need to be vigilant in those instances because limited use medicine tests need to ordinarily result in an honorable discharge. You must be wary the command-directed tests.

In the military, a urinalysis command directed test is constitutional if it is based upon probable cause. Military ascendancy of proof 312 (d) and 315. Rarely do we see instances involving hair samples, but the appellate courts have actually ruled that a positive urinalysis additionally provides probable for a hair sample.US v. Bethea, 61 M.J. 184 (C.A.A.F. 2004).

In instances where the test was carried out without probable cause, the exception to the probable cause requirement apply. Over there are several exceptions – great faith exception, exigent circumstances exceptions, etc.

Most optimistic urinalysis’ in the military are the an outcome of “random” inspections.Military ascendancy of evidence 313 (b) permits random inspections. Occasionally we can an obstacle the authority of the command to bespeak the inspection. Every now and also then a civilian employee orders the inspection or some human other than the commander.

It’s not unusual for subterfuge come be used in bespeak a urinalysis. The classic example is the very first sergeant that takes measures to start a urinalysis based on rumors. UnderUS v. Campbell, 41 M.J. 177 (C.M.A. 1994) the inspection more than likely will not organize up.

A urinalysis conducted for a valid medical purpose is likewise constitutional under Military rule of evidence 312 (f). Whether the clinical purpose was valid or not may be one entirely various question. In the military – for instance – regulations border the offers of a clinical urinalysis.

Generally, in all of the branches, limited use plans limit the usage of competence because that duty tests and medical tests. If drug usage is uncovered during a limited use test, the organization member need to receive one honorable discharge.

Where most civilization have confusion around test results is as soon as it comes to governmental separations. Unfortunately, evidence acquired in violation of the constitution is admissible in an governmental separation or nonjudicial punishment uneven it was obtained in poor faith (the experimentation officials knew it was unlawful).

PTSD, Self-Medication & good Military Character

Another important consideration involves cases of self-medication. These situations are ending up being increasingly common. There is often an connected mental health and wellness concern. Civilian defense counsel have the right to be an extremely beneficial in assisting the company member in those instances in gaining the help that the or she needs.

Good military character can also be a defense in drug cases.

See more: How Many Months Is 15 Years Converter, 15 Mo To Yr

Below space templates for character letters:


You can comment on your defense choices when charged with a drug crime in the military by call (833) 934-8265 and also scheduling a free consultation through our army criminal defense lawyers.