How flawed drug tests can incriminate innocent people

How flawed drug tests can incriminate innocent people

by | Sep 2, 2016 | drug charges |

In 2007, police officers pulled over drummer Don Bolles and arrested him for possession of Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (GHB), which is commonly referred to as a date rape drug. The police officers allegedly found the banned depressant after pulling over Bolles in Newport Beach, California due to a broken taillight and searching his van. However, a lab test showed that the substance found in Bolles’ van was actually a natural, peppermint-infused cleanser and the charges against the drummer were dropped.

At any point in time, you can be approached by police officers and accused of having drugs in your possession. Police officers can arrest you and haul you off to jail by simply claiming that they found an illegal drug in your home or car. You could spend years in jail if the lab tests indicate that you should be convicted. In some cases, individuals are convicted based on flawed drug tests.

How the innocent can be incriminated

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people are accused of drug possession and arrested, according to the statistics cited in a recent article. These people are told that the police discovered drugs in their possession and that they should accept a plea deal in hopes of getting a lenient sentence. While this may seem reasonable, it is important to realize that many people are arrested for possession of substances that aren’t actually drugs.

Flawed drug tests are the main cause of these unwarranted arrests and accusations. Testing limitations, contaminated samples, exposure to air, nonspecific tests, and human errors make false positives fairly common when it comes to conducting tests and interpreting the results.

Even though preliminary field-testing has many serious limitations, it is still widely used across the United States to arrest people and charge them with drug possession. Sometimes, individuals will accept a plea deal before the trial and before accurate lab tests are conducted to determine the validity of the field test findings. Some experts believe that thousands, or even tens of thousands, of people are charged with drug offenses wrongfully.

Simply because you are accused of a crime does not necessarily indicate that you are guilty. Preliminary field-testing is not always accurate, which is why more accurate lab tests need to be performed. However, before these lab tests are conducted, you may be encouraged to accept a plea deal for your drug convictions. If you or a loved one is currently facing drug possession charges, you should contact an attorney from Rapa Law Office, P.C. for a free consultation. A skilled attorney will be able to help you maintain and ensure your freedom.


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