Imagine you are driving when you suddenly spot the red and blue flashing lights of a police car behind you. You pull over, the officer approaches you, and after a brief exchange, you wind up in the back of a police car, arrested for a drug-related offense.

Unfortunately, this is not an imaginary scenario for many people across Pennsylvania. It is a real situation with real consequences. However, it is crucial to remember that you have the right to defend yourself against drug charges, and this can involve working with an attorney to challenge any preliminary or field drug tests.

What are field drug tests?

Field drug tests are kits that police can use to test material for the presence of a controlled substance. Depending on the type of kit used, they typically involve liquids that change color when they come into contact with certain materials, like THC or cocaine.

Police can quickly and easily use these tests during a traffic stop if they conduct a search and find what they believe is an illegal drug.

The importance of challenging these tests

Drug test kits are not perfect; the police who conduct the testing are not perfect. As such, false positives and mistakes can happen. In fact, at least six people in another state wound up in jail because of inaccurate drug test kit results. The suspicious materials were actually breath mints, headache powder and incense.

Because these tests are not infallible, it can be crucial to challenge them. Should a person plead guilty to charges without having a lab retest the material, he or she could face costly consequences unnecessarily.

It is also worth noting that field drug test kit results are not the only aspect of an arrest worth challenging. Depending on the details of a specific case, it might also be prudent to dispute traffic stop or search procedures.

Facing drug charges can change a person’s life. You could spend time in jail and possibly lose your job and the trust from loved ones. If convicted, you face imprisonment, fines and a stain on your criminal record. As such, it is crucial to take these charges — and your defense against them — seriously.