Navy Sailor Acquitted After Positive Urinalysis for Cocaine and Ecstasy

Navy E-5 tested positive on a unit sweep urinalysis test for cocaine and ecstasy.  His command offered him Captain’s Mast, which he refused and demanded trial by court-martial.  During our investigation into his case, our attorneys discovered significant flaws in the command’s urinalysis collection program.  At his subsequent Special Court-Martial, we were able to show the command’s failure to maintain a proper chain of custody on our client’s sample, institutional failings in the command’s urinalysis program overall.  In addition, we surprised the government by proving that the UPC that testified in their case was not even the UPC that collected our client’s sample.  Following the close of the government’s case, we rested without even needing to present a shred of evidence.  RESULT: The member panel found our client Not Guilty.

Category: Positive Urinalysis Success Stories

Navy Healthcare Provider Cleared of Drug Offenses

A Naval Officer and healthcare provider self-enrolled in a rehabilitation program for an increasing dependence on sleep medication.  While enrolled in the program, the officer continued to test positive for the metabolite for the sleep medication, leading her providers to believe that the officer was continuing to abuse the drug.  Further, the officer also tested positive for an anti-seizure medication, which led to her removal from the rehabilitation program.  The Navy initiated proceedings to revoke the officer’s privileges to practice medicine within the Navy.  The officer retained JAG Defense to represent her through this process.  At her subsequent Peer Review Panel, we presented the testimony of two forensic toxicologists to demonstrate that our client’s continued positive urinalysis tests were due to the metabolite for the sleep medication lingering in her body due to longterm abuse prior to entering the rehabilitation program.  In addition, we presented evidence and testimony of numerous other individuals in the rehabilitation program who inexplicably tested positive for the same anti-seizure medication.  We also challenged the reliability of the testing program due to its lack of a formal chain of custody and the employment of a civilian laboratory, rather than a DoD testing laboratory.  Result: The Peer Review Panel unanimously found that none of the bases for the adverse privileging action were substantiated and our client was awarded full privileges.

Category: Positive Urinalysis Success Stories

TSgt Acquitted After Two Positive Military Urinalysis Tests

Air Force E-6 tested positive for D-Amphetamines on a military urinalysis test.  When he was pulled in for questioning by OSI, he was ordered to provide another urinalysis sample.  This second sample also tested positive for D-Amphetamine.  Based on the nanogram levels and time between urinalysis collections, the two tests were clearly the result of two separate ingestions of D-Amphetamine.  At his subsequent court-martial, we were able to demonstrate that our client had unknowingly ingested his wife’s Adderall prescription on numerous occasions.  Our cross examination of the government’s forensic toxicologist led to her conceding the scientific plausibility of this explanation, based both on the nanogram levels of each sample, as well as the ration of D-Amphetamine to L-Amphetamine in the urinalysis collections.  Result: The member panel found our client NOT GUILTY.

Category: Positive Urinalysis Success Stories

Innocent Ingestion Defense for Positive Urinalysis

Army E-7 tested positive on random urinalysis for cocaine.  After hiring JAG Defense and following our advice, he refused his Article 15 and demanded trial by court-martial.  During our investigation into the circumstances surrounding his positive urinalysis test, we learned that he had ingested ron caña, a Puerto Rican homemade liquor made from sugarcane, that had been provided to him by a family member.  We arranged for the forensic testing of the ron caña, which revealed the presence of cocaine.  Armed with these test results, at our client’s ensuing court-martial, we elicited evidence scientifically corroborating the innocent ingestion defense from the government’s own expert witness, compelling him to concede that our client’s ingestion of the ron caña was entirely consistent with the urinalysis test results.  Our client did not even have to testify.  Result: Officer member panel found our client NOT GUILTY.

Category: Positive Urinalysis Success Stories

USMC Gunnery Sergeant Cleared of Positive Urinalysis Test

A decorated Gunnery Sergeant retained JAG Defense after she allegedly tested positive for D-Amphetamines on a random urinalysis test.  During our initial investigation of the case, we uncovered significant issues with our client’s urinalysis sample.  Using the collection program’s own records, we were able to demonstrate that the collection program had mislabeled another Marine’s urinalysis sample with our client’s information.  We presented this information to the command, which resulted in NO CHARGES even being filed against our client.

Category: Positive Urinalysis Success Stories

Army E-7 Acquitted of Drug Charge

Army E-7 tested positive on a unit sweep urinalysis test for marijuana and his chain of command referred his case to a court-martial.  Complicating matters, our client also tested positive on a urinalysis test for marijuana fifteen years earlier, which the government sought to introduce as evidence of a pattern of drug involvement.  Our client also had been counseled on numerous occasions for integrity issues.  As a result, if our client testified, the panel would have learned that he had a history of making false statements and had a previous positive test result for marijuana.  Since we were significantly limited in what type of case we could present due to these prior incidents, our attorneys instead attacked the collection program at the command, highlighting numerous instances of non-compliance with AR 600-85.  Result: Even without testifying, our client was found NOT GUILTY of wrongful marijuana use.

Category: Positive Urinalysis Success Stories, Uncategorized

Army E-4 Found Not Guilty by Officer Member Panel

Army E-4 tested positive on a random urinalysis test for marijuana at a nanogram level 5x the DoD cutoff.  Upon our advice, he refused to accept nonjudicial punishment.  His chain of command elected to refer his case to a Special Court-Martial.  During the ensuing court-martial, the defense argued that even if the urinalysis test was accurate, the government failed to present evidence that our client’s use of marijuana was knowing and conscious, as required by Article 112a, UCMJ.  Following closing arguments, the officer panel deliberated for only 13 minutes before returning a verdict of NOT GUILTY.

Category: Positive Urinalysis Success Stories

Army E-6 Found Not Guilty of Drug Charge at Special Court-Martial

Army E-6 tested positive on a random urinalysis test for cocaine.  Both before and after the test, he made numerous inconsistent statements explaining how and why his sample would test positive.  At his Special Court-Martial, JAG Defense successfully convinced the military judge to suppress all of his incriminating statements, which eviscerated the government’s case against our client.  We then used the government’s own evidence to raise an innocent ingestion defense, rather than having to present any evidence of our own (which would have “opened the door” to our client’s statements being introduced as evidence).  Result: Without having to present any defense evidence or have our client testify, our client was found NOT GUILTY at his court-martial.

Category: Positive Urinalysis Success Stories

No Misconduct Finding for Navy E-4 After Positive Urinalysis Test

Navy E-4 tested positive on a urinalysis test for benzoylecgonine, the metabolite for cocaine.  He immediately retained the services of JAG Defense to represent him.  His command initiated Captain’s Mast, which he refused to accept.  As anticipated, his command opted not to pursue a court-martial, and instead sent his case directly to an administrative separation board.  At his subsequent board, JAG Defense presented testimony from a local bouncer who admitted to spiking our client’s drink with cocaine.  In addition, the government’s expert in forensic toxicology admitted during our cross-examination that the nanogram level in our client’s sample was scientifically consistent with the explanation of the spiked drink, and that our client’s test results were so low that he may not have even felt the effects of cocaine, let alone used it intentionally.  Result: The members voted 3-0 that our client committed NO MISCONDUCT and to RETAIN him in the U.S. Navy.  

Category: Positive Urinalysis Success Stories

Naval Officer Retained After Positive Urinalysis for d-Amphetamines

Navy O-5 tested positive for d-amphetamine on a random urinalysis test and was processed for administrative discharge at a Board of Inquiry.  JAG Defense fully investigated the circumstances of his positive urinalysis test, to include a review of the toxicology report from the drug testing laboratory.  In doing so, we uncovered a number of important aspects of our client’s drug test result.  First, the ration of d-amphetamine to l-amphetamine present in our client’s urine sample was 3:1, which indicated that the positive test result was due to a prescription medication, rather than a “street” amphetamine.  Specifically, the ratio was entirely consistent with Adderall, a commonly prescribed medication for ADHD.  Further, the d-amphetamine to l-amphetamine ratio was consistent with a recent use (within 12-24 hours), rather than a use that occurred many days earlier.  This was particularly important because our client’s nanogram level was fairly low, so it ruled out the government’s argument that he had used a significant amount many days earlier and probably had a much higher level at some point.  Armed with this information, we investigated our client’s actions in the 12-24 hours prior to his urinalysis test, which included his handling his wife’s Adderall medication on the morning of his urinalysis test.  At his Board of Inquiry, we presented testimony from a forensic toxicologist to demonstrate that our client’s test result was entirely consistent with his accidental ingestion of some minute amount of his wife’s Adderall on the morning of the test collection.  Result: By a vote of 3-0, the panel of O-6 officers found that our client had committed NO MISCONDUCT and RETAINED him in the U.S. Navy. 

Category: Positive Urinalysis Success Stories