Drug Use & Possession
Our Court Martial Attorneys can Fight for You
You’ve been accused of possession or use of a controlled substance by military law enforcement.
- The rank and titles that you’ve worked so hard to achieve could disappear overnight
- You could be slapped with a dishonorable discharge
- Even incarceration is a possibility you must consider
With your future under fire and your freedom at stake, your next move will be one of the most important you’ll ever make. Do you put your fate into the hands of an inexperienced defense attorney? Or do you fight your charges, exonerate yourself from all blame, and walk away a free man or woman?
Here’s What You Need to Know about Drug Use & Possession Charges in the Military
Just to give you some background on how you’ll be charged, and what you’ll be charged with:
- You’ll be charged under Article 112a of the UCMJ, the article which prohibits the use of controlled substances by military service members.
- Article 112a defines the kinds of misconduct involving controlled substances. Drug use and possession are the most common forms of misconduct. But Article 112a also defines the distribution, introduction, and manufacture of controlled substances as criminal charges.
- Controlled substances as defined by Article 112a could mean amphetamine, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and opium, among others. Importantly, Article 112a does not define prescription drugs as controlled substances.
Fighting Your Drug Charges
You’re probably wondering if fighting your charges is worth the effort. Haven’t they caught you red handed? If you’ve been charged after a urinalysis, how can you deny that controlled substances were found in your body?
Service members accused of the possession or use of a controlled substance are easy prey for military prosecutors because they assume that they’ve already been found guilty.
What they do not account for is that the right defense in court can make it extremely difficult for the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of misconduct under Article 112a.
In fact, the right defense attorney knows how to win and has done it before:
- First, does the prosecution have a case involving the drugs themselves? Can they confirm you had or used these drugs on purpose? Was it a mistake? Was there a prescription?
- Second, in cases involving urinalysis, was the test completed appropriately? Did the lab perform its job correctly? Were there any mistakes?
- Third, could discovery of a controlled substance actually be something else entirely? For example, ingesting poppy seeds could lead to a positive test for opiates. Ingesting Benzedrex inhalers could lead to a positive test for methamphetamines.
- If you were caught up in a sting operation, how wide was the net used by law enforcement to entrap you? Was the sting operation even legal?
Assuming you have no options is exactly what the government wants you to think. Taking steps to defend yourself will surprise the prosecution and give you the resources you need to win your case outright.
Why You Need to Put up a Fight
Do not expect the military to break out the kid’s gloves in your drug case. We’ve seen instances where service members assumed their charges would be swept under the rug, only to be dragged to a court-martial and slapped with a dishonorable discharge and prison.
- Even minor infractions could lead to a dishonorable discharge. There is a zero-tolerance drug policy that is in full force across all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. This is not the time for rose-colored glasses. Your military career and benefits are at stake.
- Your civilian career could also suffer. A punitive discharge or even a discharge Under Other Than Honorable Conditions could leave future dream jobs out of reach, and put promotions in the hands of co-workers.
- Should your drug charge incur only a minor disciplinary infraction, it will all but end your climb up the military ladder and likely lead to administrative separation. Winning your drug case should be a top priority if you have any desire to advance or remain in the military.
Your future without this drug charge on your records is wide open with opportunity. A drug charge will close doors, end careers and strip you of your ranks and titles.
We Own the Courtroom—Our Case Results Prove It
We have a history of winning impossible-to-win cases. Decades in the courtroom have given us insight into how the prosecution operates. We know their weaknesses. We hit them hard and fast.
My Urine Tested Positive for Controlled Substances. How Could I Not Be Found Guilty?
Just because a controlled substance was found in your urine, doesn’t mean you knowingly ingested a controlled substance. In addition to this, the prosecution has to prove that that substance is indeed an illegal substance and you knowingly ingested it. And that isn’t as easy as you think.
The worst thing a service member can do is panic and accept the government’s initial verdict of guilt. Doing so all but ends their military career and could lead to a dishonorable discharge.
How Are Simple Use or Possession Cases Handled by the Military?
Administrative action, including Non-Judicial Punishment (NJP) followed by administrative separation, is the most common action taken commands for minor drug infractions. However, a court-martial is not off the table for smaller drug crimes in the military.