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Denver, CO Martial Law Blog

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

How Can A Service Member Overcome Drug Charges?

Experienced military drug crime attorneys know how to defend service members against charges related to the use, possession, manufacture, distribution, and import or export of drugs. Due to the serious potential punishment, it may be wise to hire a civilian military defense attorney rather than trust your fate to a free court-appointed defense counsel who may be inexperienced and overworked.


Depending on the circumstances of the case, drug use defenses may include some of the following: 

  • the drug use was not wrongful because the drug was prescribed 
  • the service member unknowingly ingested a controlled substance
  • the wrong drug test was conducted
  • proper testing procedures were not followed
  • the service member’s positive drug test was a false positive.


In cases of alleged intentional drug use, a good court-martial defense attorney can present mitigating factors like the service member’s general good character and past good record of military service.


With respect to the possession or distribution of banned substances, defense attorneys will review the circumstances surrounding the search that led to the drugs to see if anything unlawful occurred. In the event of a violation of the accused service member’s civil rights or violations of proper procedure, the drug and other evidence obtained through this illegal search may not be admissible in the case against the service member. Even if the search was lawfully-conducted, if drugs were found in common areas, the defense attorneys can challenge who the actual possessor was. 

Two Navy sailors aboard the Ronald Reagan have been accused of “running an LSD ring” from the ship and are facing a court martial for military drug crimes. One faces charges for “using, possessing, and distributing” LSD while the other is charged with “distributing LSD and possessing nandrolone decanoate--an anabolic steroid.” Three other sailors are reportedly awaiting Article 32 proceedings and/or decisions to see if they will face possible conspiracy to distribute and wrongful use and possession charges.

The military takes drug charges very seriously and doles out significant punishment as a consequence if convicted after court-martial--often including jail time. So, it’s wise to get an attorney on your side as soon as possible. 

If you are facing drug charge allegations or fear they may be forthcoming, the military defense attorneys at Elkus, Sisson & Rosenstein, P.C. can help you. Contact us today for a free consultation. 

From our offices in Colorado Springs and Denver, Colorado, we represent service members of all ranks, in all branches, anywhere in the world.


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