Although the general culture of illicit drug use in the military has decreased in recent years, there is still a significant problem with drug use and military criminal charges for drug crimes.
While these instances may be common, the penalties are no less severe. It is critical to protect yourself aggressively against military crime charges, especially those involving illicit drugs.
Drug crimes in the military
Article 112A of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) states than any wrongful possession, use, manufacture, distribution or introduction of one of the drugs listed in the article will be tried by court martial.
Penalties for a conviction
Depending on the severity of the drug, the amount in question and other factors, the penalties given by the court martial could be severe, including discharge (bad conduct discharge or even dishonorable discharge).
Further, you could face drug charges in civilian court, as well as the court martial, which could result in felony charges and possible prison time.
A drug crime conviction can be devastating to anyone’s future, regardless of whether they are servicemembers, enlisted officers or civilians. In addition to the fines and possible jail time involved, a conviction of this kind can haunt a person for the rest of their life, making it difficult to secure housing and adequate employment.
Drug tests in the military
In recent years, the military has begun using drug tests as a means for combatting drug use in all branches. While authorities can demand drug tests on probable cause, most drug tests in the military are conducted randomly.
Failure to pass a drug test, or refusal to take a drug test can be enough to convene a court martial, or at least an administrative hearing. With the consequences of these crimes being so severe, make sure you work with an experienced military criminal defense lawyer who can defend your rights and provide critical counsel throughout the process.