Identification and Verification of Drugs

Drug Identification

Identification and Verification of Drugs

Physical evidence is a core part of prosecuting a criminal case. Flaws in the testing can make it harder for a prosecutor to get a conviction. To better understand this you can read examples ofhow drug evidence is used in a trial.

Field vs. Lab Identification

In the field, typically at the time of arrest, police attempt to identify substances via observation of markings on pills, field chemical tests for cocaine or meth, and other means. Anything believed to be an illegal substance will be taken as evidence. If the prosecutor decides to file formal charges, the evidence will be sent to a lab for formal testing and identification.

A forensic drug examiner's job is to professionally identify any type of controlled substance which may be used as evidence in a criminal case. Even using state-of-the-art processes, many times there were flaws or errors in the test process. Discovering these prosecutorial errors helps the defense team.

In Georgia, the state's Drug Identification Section employs a team of scientists trained to assist police officers in clandestine laboratory seizures, technical support in undercover operations, supplying the courts and other state agencies with factual drug information, and providing information to the general public and news media about drug abuse. Some of the tests and services they provide are:

  • Identify substances in violation of federal or state drug laws
  • Free base determination on cocaine cases prosecuted under federal law
  • Assistance in clandestine laboratory seizures
  • Assistance in other undercover drug operations
  • Net weights given on powder-type materials and marijuana samples
  • Reports will reflect proper scheduling under Georgia law
  • Reports will reflect analytical procedures used in testing
  • Police training in marijuana identification through POST

Challenging the Police and Drug Experts

Hiring an experienced drug charges lawyer is extremely important if you want the best chances of avoiding conviction. You need a lawyer who understands how to expose the prosecution's expert witnesses as being far less than expert. For example, having been a police officer for many years does not make the officer an expert. Often, a lot of the expert testimony is based on biased opinions an subjective beliefs.

If you have been arrested or formally charged with a crime you need to hire an expert defense lawyer. Call us at 770-956-1400 to arrange time to discuss your situation and get answers to your questions.