When NOT to Use the Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts Sword

In a previous blog, we discussed when an experienced drug court martial defense lawyer could use Melendez-Diaz as a sword when fighting military urinalysis charges. There are also times when we believe you should not do so. Your military defense lawyer likely should not use the Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts sword if it will get you nothing or hurt you. This sword should typically not be used if:

  • The witness can offer more harmful information that is not in the report, such as "This poison is very painful to the victim" or "This is the most severe trauma I have ever seen."
  • The lab conclusion is susceptible to more than one meaning, and a live witness will spin it for the prosecution.
  • Your attorney has interviewed the analyst and he will be an impressive witness for the government.
  • Your attorney has no reason to doubt the report's accuracy, and/or maybe the accused's admissible confession agrees with the report.

Is pulling this sword going to get you anything? This is where having an experienced military drug lawyer can make all the difference in a drug case. Just having the weapons is one thing, knowing when to use them is another thing all together. If you have come up hot on a military urinalysis and want to fight the charges against you, whether you used the drugs or not, contact an experienced court martial defense lawyer as soon as possible to discuss all of your options.

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