Hundreds of Massachusetts residents are sitting in jail because of drug charges. While the vast majority of people charged with drug crimes plead guilty, some of these inmates are innocent people who were the victims of a false positive in a field test. Unfortunately, many people feel that it’s not worth the trouble to fight their case in court. They assume that the court will see the results of the field test as firm evidence and vote to convict them.
However, recent studies have shown that field tests aren’t as infallible as people once believed. With the help of an experienced attorney and an expert witness, people who were unfairly charged with drug crimes might have a shot at winning their case.
What is a field test?
A field test is used by police officers to determine if an individual has drugs in their system. The test is cheap and easy to administer, making it popular with the authorities. But the test has been known to offer numerous false positives. Studies have shown that benign substances like chocolate and aspirin can produce a false positive. Human error can also cause a false positive if the officer misinterprets the results of the test.
Unfortunately, these false results can lead to drug charges for innocent people. If they’re not confident that they can win their case in court, they might end up sitting in jail and facing a lifelong conviction on their record for a crime that they didn’t commit.
How can people argue against false positives?
One way to argue against a false positive is to call an expert witness. An expert witness could be a forensic toxicology expert who can perform scientific analysis to see if any drugs are present in the sample.
Another way to fight against wrongful drug charges is to hire an attorney. An attorney might help their client fight against charges of drug crimes by pointing out errors in the prosecution. While fighting against a field test might seem impossible, an attorney may be able to gather evidence to prove that their client had no drugs in their system.