Defending Those Who Defend Us®

How the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) Handles Drug Charges in the Military

When it comes to illegal drug use, military service members are held to a much higher standard compared to civilians.  Irrespective of the decriminalization of drugs in several U.S. States, the military has not changed their stance on the illicit use of controlled substances. The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) prohibits the use of any controlled substances that alter your mind, your mood, your body, or your overall ability to function. If you are facing drug charges as a military servicemember, you must understand the UCMJ rules and how they will affect your military proceedings.

Testing for Drug Use

In most cases, a urinalysis program is used to detect drug use in the military. The tests will check for a wide range of drugs and controlled substances, including the following:

  • Amphetamine
  • Cocaine
  • Ecstasy or MDMA
  • Heroin
  • Synthetic Cannabinoids
  • LSD
  • Marijuana
  • Methamphetamine
  • Opium
  • Prescription drugs
  • Street drugs like bath salts, spice, and others

The military is constantly expanding the different types of drugs tested in the urinalysis programs across the Department of Defense. Military drug labs are also well-informed about new or lesser-known drugs, and their metabolites, allowing law enforcement to catch more illegal drug use with the forensic toxicological tests.

Assessing the Facts of Your Case

If your urinalysis leads to a finding of drug use, don’t panic. A positive test result does not automatically lead to a conviction. The UCMJ must also review the factual circumstances of your case. You shouldn’t face repercussions for the legal use of prescription drugs, for instance.

When it comes to illegal drug use, you also cannot be found guilty if you ingested the substance unknowingly. It’s possible that you mistook an illicit drug for a legal substance, or perhaps you came in contact with a surface contaminated with an illegal substance at a nightclub. The UCMJ will only consider your drug use illegal, or unlawful, if it was done knowingly and consciously.

Examining Your Test Results

Beyond the circumstances of your case, your lawyer can also defend a drug charge by investigating the collection and testing of your urine sample. It’s always possible that someone made a mistake in the process of collecting the urine and potentially compromised the results. The actual testing process should also be scrutinized to ensure there were no errors.

Taking Your Case Before A Jury

If your case reaches a military jury, your attorney can introduce any of these various factors to avoid a conviction. The more information they have, the better. The jury isn’t required to convict you solely based on your test results after all, so a solid legal argument will give you the best chances at a favorable outcome.

If you are facing drug charges as a military service member, contact Military Justice Attorneys today. Our seasoned attorneys will go above and beyond to defend your rights.

Comments are closed.

Military Justice Attorneys

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!