Using highly technical testing methods like Gas Chromatograph/Mass Spectrometer (GC/MS), drug labs can identify drugs regardless if synthetic or mass produced. Test results are then added to the prosecution’s discovery to help build their criminal case against the defendant found to be in possession of the substance.
A far simpler test used when individuals are in possession of foreign substances is the Marquis Color test. By mixing sulfuric acid and formaldehyde, opioids like heroin will turn purple and methamphetamines will turn orange when mixed in the solution.
These tests are effective, but are they accurate?
In virtually all drug cases, how labs analyze controlled substances and how they use those results to testify in court are contentious subjects since the room for error is too vast. According to law, prosecution shoulders the burden in proving something is legally “a controlled substance”.
Pervasive field testing that aids law enforcement in finding allegedly illegal substances may appear effective on the surface, and even cheap – tests costs approximately $2 each.
What flaws exist in field testing? According to any good drug crimes defense attorney in Las Vegas, numerous things. Denoted as “plausible testing,” cheap field tests may only specify that an unlawful affluence could be present. These tests are notorious for misleading prosecutors, forensic toxicologists and even the defendant themselves.
With laboratory testing, samples can be tainted or mixed with other specimens to give prosecution incorrect information. If those samples are destroyed after documentation, defendants may never have the ability to fight their charges.
Did you know drug tests could be “staged” from the get-go? In that, we mean officers can setup defendants by acting like they’re participating in drug use, only to bust the individual once they’ve taken several pills or “hits”.
A Las Vegas criminal attorney focuses solely on the defendant and their predisposition to engage in conduct which caused the offense as charged. There are three (3) distinct elements that must be proven in entrapment cases:
Drug crimes would fall under potential subjective entrapment if defendants were seduced into committing an act they wouldn’t normally commit under similar circumstances had an informant or officer not coerced them.
Objective entrapment defense
The conduct of law enforcement in cases where persons arrested and accused of crimes is the focus of objective entrapment. If police act, or coerce action, in any manner that violates an individual’s due process rights, courts may review the totality of the incident to determine if trying the guilty person is practical under Nevada law.
Although defendants must present prepondering evidence that their actions were under extreme duress or threat by law enforcement or paid informants, constitutional rights remain unchanged. This means any violation of due process could jeopardize prosecutorial success in trying cases.
Raising proper defense in cases where persons were entrapped require entrapment lawyers who’ve dealt with similar situations. Nobody deserves to be wrongly adjudicated, but all too often innocent persons are roped into committing crimes then quickly signing plea deals to add to law enforcement’s success rate.
Forced to commit drug crimes by an officer, by suggestive force or simply because you felt no other options were available? You’re not alone. It happens to many Las Vegas defendants each year, but the crimes that manifest from entrapment don’t have to stick. In fact, if you believe that drug testing caused unwarranted charges against you, we urge you to call LV Criminal Defense, a well-respected Las Vegas criminal defense firm, today.