Facing drug charges in the military can become stressful as the service member considers everything he or she could lose. Discover more about the most common violation to be charged under the UCMJ and what you can do if it happens to you.
There are various charges a military member might face, but the most common one is wrongful use. Typically, the charge is proven through the use of a positive urinalysis. The latest opinions from military appellate courts make it more challenging to prosecute someone solely based on the results of a urinalysis. This makes it more costly to prosecute these cases. Witnesses would also be required to try to prove the charges.
Knowing Case Law
Some members of the military might be familiar with the UCMJ but few are knowledgeable about case law. Based on recent case law, a key factor in defending a military person who is charged with wrongful use is to prevent the urinalysis test results from actually coming into evidence, such as considering how reliable the lab tests actually are. Often these positive tests result in some type of non-judicial punishment.
While non-judicial punishment (NJP) might sound like a better deal than a federal conviction, it might not be as great as it seems. The person charged would have to leave the military and the circumstances are likely to be less than fully honorable. This could lead to the loss of military benefits and more. It makes sense to seek the help of an experienced attorney. If you have one that suggests taking this charge, seeking a second opinion is a wise idea.
If there are witnesses, an experienced defense attorney can find evidence that bias exists or other circumstances that could help the case. Before answering anything or taking action, consult with an attorney to help protect your rights.