A drug lawyer understands strategies that prosecuting attorneys use to prove guilt in court. That knowledge is important for building a defense case to support clients who have been charged with possession or use of illegal drugs. One example is to find ways to undermine a prosecutorial case built on the evidence of drug residue discovered in a urine test.
Routine testing conducted by employers and sports organizations nearly always has no legal consequences if the test turns out positive for illegal substances. A job applicant would probably not be hired, an employee might be fired, and a student or athlete might not be allowed to participate in the sport. Nevertheless, it is highly unusual for any of these organizations to report the results to a government agency.
The exception would be a professional driver, in which case the results might be forwarded to the state’s department of motor vehicles. Even then, that agency is not obligated to alert law enforcement officials.
Testing After Arrest
Someone who has been taken into custody or arrested by police officers may be required to submit to a urine test. This is typically the case with suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, for example. A positive test for illegal drugs then may lead to criminal charges.
Tests During Parole and Probation
Another risky situation occurs when a person who is out of prison on parole or is serving a sentence of probation has a positive drug test. That typically is a violation of the terms of parole and probation and can mean being arrested and held in a detention center until a hearing is scheduled. A defense lawyer may help prevent the worst consequences, which often is the defendant being required to serve the rest of the sentence behind bars.
Challenging the Results
A defense attorney can challenge the results of a positive drug test. Sometimes another substance a person has consumed makes the test have a false-positive result. One of the more common examples is the consumption of poppy seeds leading to a positive test for opiates. That’s because opium is derived from the poppy.