Routine Drug Field Tests Being Abandoned Due to Danger for Police Officers

On Behalf of | Apr 26, 2018 | Firm News

New Jersey criminal defense lawyer
A standard procedure that has been followed by police officers throughout the country for decades is being re-evaluated as claims that the widely used method may carry serious health risks to officers in the field up to and including death. Typically when an officer finds a suspicious substance during an arrest or a traffic stop they would then put the unknown substance in a small vial filled with a liquid that would turn a certain color if there any traces of heroin, cocaine, or other possibly illegal narcotics. However, due to new studies that show that simply touching a harmful material with your hands or even inhaling its’ fumes that it can enter through your skin or through your nose causing powerful illness or even death in the case of fentanyl.

Routine Drug Field Tests in New Jersey

Safety of those that serve and protect us is always of the highest priority which is why even the chance that such a reaction could occur is enough to make police abandon this long practiced technique. Instead, the new process requires the officers to send suspected illicit drugs out to crime laboratories where they can be investigated further. This new course of action will clearly make things safer for police officers out in the field, yet there are some that believe the consequences of the change will hurt cases that they will have in the future.
By eliminating this procedure officers will no longer be able to confirm if the person they suspect indeed has an illegal narcotic with them right on the scene, and because of this they would not be able to start the criminal process as quickly as they used to be able to while performing these tests. In addition, the crime labs in which these materials are studied have already begun to be backlogged, and there have been several instances where a police officer had to wait a significant amount of time before finding out if the suspect was in fact carrying an illegal substance or not. Not only that, but the suspect may need immediate medical attention or treatment for the drugs that they are taking, but with the results now having to be sent out to a crime lab it is possible that they do not get that treatment on time.

Schedule a Consultation With a New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you or someone you love has been charged with a drug crime you need a qualified attorney to fight for your rights in court. Contact attorney Jill R. Cohen by calling 856-754-5501 to schedule a consultation today.
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