Does A Positive Field Drug Test Mean That You Are Guilty?
A lot of the things that police officers say and do during traffic stops are for no reason other than to intimidate or confuse the defendant. Consider the field sobriety tests that officers often ask drivers to perform at traffic stops for suspected drunk driving, such as walking an imaginary tightrope or reciting the alphabet backwards. The first is only easy to do if you have good balance, which requires you to be young and healthy with good physical fitness, and the second is only easy if your first language is English and you have been singing the alphabet song forwards. Even if you are an award-winning athlete and a native English speaker, all tasks become ten times more difficult when a police officer is shining a flashlight at you. Besides this, police officers see what they want to see, even with measures that they claim are objective, such as K-9 searches and field drug tests. If you got arrested during a traffic stop where a police officer did a field drug test, contact a Florida drug offense attorney.
Field Drug Tests and Florida Drug Offense Cases
The field drug tests used at traffic stops often rely on a liquid that turns different colors when exposed to different substances. These tests cost about two dollars each, and they are not very specific. Each color indicates, not one particular molecule, but rather a whole range of similar substances. In many instances, legal substances have yielded positive results on field drug tests. For example, field drug tests have mistaken Tylenol PM for cocaine and Mucinex for heroin and morphine, and those are just the over-the-counter drugs. Field drug tests have also misidentified Hershey’s chocolate as cannabis and soap as GHB.
Which Defenses Can You Use If a Substance in Your Possession Tests Positive for Drugs?
If a substance in your possession yields a positive result for a controlled substance on a field drug test, you can use defenses related to the lack of specificity of the test. For example, you can indicate the many legal substances that can make the field test turn the same color that yours turned, especially if it is plausible that the substance in your possession was a legal substance known to yield false positives. You may also be able to argue that the officer did not perform the test correctly, which would increase the chance of getting a false positive result. You can cite other examples where field drug tests performed in the same police department have gotten false positives. Remember that you do not have to make the jury absolutely certain that you are innocent; they just have to have enough doubt about your guilt that they cannot convict you.
Contact FL Drug Defense Group About Drug Possession Traffic Stops
A Central Florida criminal defense lawyer can help you if you are facing charges for drug possession after a field drug test at a traffic stop. Contact FL Drug Defense Group in Orlando, Florida to discuss your case.