Drug testing reports are sometimes found inadmissible against service members facing charges for drug use

Posted by: William Cassara On: July 11th, 2013

On July 8, 2013, The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) held in U.S. v. Porter that a servicemember's drug testing report showing positives for both marijuana and cocaine should have been deemed inadmissible at trial under the Confrontation Clause of the Constitution. The reason the admission of the drug testing report was in violation of the Confrontation Clause is because it was prepared for litigation purposes and none of the analysts or reviewers who signed the report were present to testify at the court-martial. In other words, when admitted the drug testing report essentially served as testimony against the accused servicemember and the servicemember was given no opportunity to cross-examine the report or anyone who developed it. This type of ruling is not new, in fact, it really stems from a Supreme Court ruling regarding the Confrontation Clause in Crawford v. Washington in 2004. Nonetheless, this ruling is important to you if you are a servicemember who is or has faced court-martial charges for drug use. If a drug testing report was admitted in your court-martial and you believe you were denied your right to cross examine those who produced the report, please contact me regarding whether or not you should appeal your court-martial. If you are currently facing court-martial charges based on drug use, you need someone with experience on your side. To speak to an experienced court-martial and military defense attorney, call Bill Cassara at 706-550-1981 for a free consultation.

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