How Drug Test Contamination in Pittsburgh Can Lead to a Dismissal
Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) are trained to identify the presence of drugs in a person’s system. They also receive training to identify the drug in question.
As a result, police make drug arrests constantly. This leaves countless people worried about criminal penalties, damage to their careers, and the stress of going through the criminal system. However, evidence in drug cases becomes compromised all the time, and if a drug test sample was mishandled or contaminated, your case may be dismissed.
A drug lawyer at Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC knows how to identify when these drug tests are contaminated and what it takes to resolve cases in your favor.
To discuss if a contaminated drug test sample can lead to having your Pittsburgh drug case dismissed, call (412) 281-2146 today for a free consultation.
Was the Drug Test Sample Mishandled?
Both urine and blood samples are used to detect the presence of an illicit substance. A study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) claims that most compounds can be identified up to two to four days after they are administered.
For example, amphetamines can remain in a person’s system for two to four days, whereas marijuana can be present for up to 30 days. However, some drugs only remain in the body for a few hours. As a result, police often administer drug tests after an arrest. This regularly leads to hasty and poor handling of test samples.
Mistakes After Taking a Drug Test
When the police administer a drug test, they must take steps to preserve the evidence and prevent contamination. In Pennsylvania, officers should store samples in special evidence lockers. When they are not properly stored, samples can be switched out or tampered with.
Police also frequently mislabel samples. If your drug testing sample was switched out with another person’s, you could be wrongfully charged with a serious drug crime.
Common Drug Labs Mistakes
Once your sample is collected, it may be sent to a testing facility. Unfortunately, many things can lead to a false positive.
When blood samples are left sitting around for long periods, they may decompose in ways that show an inaccurate reading. Degradation also occurs when the sample is opened too soon. Contamination might also happen when test equipment is reused or not properly cleaned. If residue from another person’s sample remains, your test may yield a false positive.
Drug Lab Misconduct
Another type of laboratory misconduct is “dry labbing.” This involves only testing a few samples among a collection. Instead of or subjecting each vial to rigorous testing, the scientist finds a few that are positive and then labels all of the samples with the same result.
This can be hard to establish, but if you believe that you have been victimized by inaccurate lab testing, it is important that you seek legal representation immediately.
Real World Examples of Drug Test Mishandling
In April of 2017, a chemist’s criminal misconduct led to the dismissal of nearly 20,000 Massachusetts drug convictions. The former employee of the Department of Health (DOH) apparently contaminated thousands of test samples intentionally, leading to false positives and criminal convictions. She also engaged in “dry labbing”. In total, 15,570 drug convictions were dismissed, and thousands regained their freedom.
Contact Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC Today
A drug arrest is a scary experience. You’ll be worried about what happens next and how to live with a criminal conviction. You may have to quit your job or spend significant time behind bars. But drug tests are clearly flawed and you have options to consider.
At Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC, our team knows what to do and how to improve your case. By launching our own investigation, we may be able to prove that your drug test results were tampered with or contaminated. This can make all the difference in your case.
Call (412) 281-2146 now for a free legal consultation.