What Is Innocent Ingestion in the Military?

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innocent ingestion

There are certain rules under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) of which you must abide. One of these rules is to abstain from knowingly and consciously using any illegal drugs. But what if you don’t remember taking any illegal substances? Does it still count?

The government must be able to prove that the military member who used an illegal drug/substance did so knowingly and consciously. Even if that member’s urinalysis test was positive, the government must be able to show that it was a result of knowingly ingesting the drug. If the member unknowingly ingested the illegal drug then he or she cannot be found guilty of misconduct. 

Many times those who have been found with an illegal substance in their system have only had a minimal amount of that substance. A good military attorney may be able to demonstrate that it is possible that the substance was unknowingly ingested. 

Innocent Ingestion vs. Unknowing Ingestion

It’s important to note that there are some differences between unknowingly ingesting and innocently ingesting an illegal substance. While unknowingly ingesting a substance means that the member has no idea how the drug ended up in his or her system, innocently ingesting a substance means that the member knows how it was consumed but that he or she did not wrongfully or knowingly consume it. A lot of times good military character can play a role in the ultimate determination. 

In order to prove innocent ingestion, your defense must be able to align with the science of the drug test. You may be asked questions pertaining to:

  • Where you were during the window of detection
  • Whether there were witnesses who were with you during the window of detection who saw you sober
  • Whether there are witnesses who will agree to testify under oath that they caused you to innocently or unknowingly ingest the illegal substance

If you have witnesses who are willing to testify they will likely be asked to testify to:

  • The amount of the edible product you consumed
  • When such product was consumed
  • A recipe for the product
  • If anyone else consumed the same product at the same time
  • If there were any effects of the consumption that they observed
  • Whether they themselves felt any effects of consumption
  • The good military character of the member

It is in your best interest to consult with a military attorney who has experience with cases such as yours. 

The Court-Martial Law Division of Aviso Law LLC Helps Military Members in Colorado Who Have Been Charged with a Crime

The U.S. Government has an interest in obtaining a conviction as soon as possible, as it does not wish to gain negative publicity about one of its service members. That is why it is so important to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced military attorney as soon as possible.

If you are a military service member (active or reserve) and have been charged with a crime under the UCMJ, the Court-Martial Law Division of Aviso Law LLC can help. We proudly serve our military members, who sacrifice so much for our country. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

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