In: Criminal Defense

Do I Have to Take a Drug Test on Probation?

When an individual is under probation, a drug test is normally one of the terms and conditions that judges will order, among other certain restrictions. However, this condition will usually depend on the specific kind of offense that the probationer has committed. This means that some probationers may not need to undergo regular drug tests depending on the judge’s decision. Most probation orders from the court have some provision in them regarding drug testing.

On the other hand, probationers who committed misdemeanors or offenses involving controlled and illegal substances must typically undergo scheduled and random drug testing.

Why Drug Testing During Probation is Important

Drug testing is widely used in the criminal justice system because of the crime-drug link that was discovered many years ago, mainly due to the Survey of Prison and Jail Inmates by Rand Corporation. This crime-drug link is still being studied today. Such studies support the assumption that repeat offenders or career criminals are involved heavily in drug use.

Various studies have also suggested that keeping repeat offenders in prison for extended sentences can reduce the crime rate and that a significant determinant of recidivism is a history of drug use. Therefore, drug abstinence and deterrence are top priorities in the criminal justice system. To help accomplish these goals, judges, parole agencies, and probation agencies have mandated drug tests as a condition of an offender’s release.

But is Drug Testing During Probation Always Necessary?

Most challenges with drug tests arise from its legality as a condition ordered by the court. Also, can probation agencies or officers require drug tests even if the court did not impose the testing condition? Based on several cases involving this issue, the answer is, unfortunately, often “yes.” And refusing to take the test could result in you violating your probation.

In addition, courts have in the past upheld random testing of probationers who have drug testing as a condition of their release. In such cases, probation officers can order a probationer to undergo testing at any time, for whatever reason.

However, it’s necessary that a drug testing condition must be reasonably associated with the offense the probationer committed. Additionally, probation officers must ensure that proper drug testing and chain-of-custody procedures are always followed, and that the test’s accuracy is properly established.

Reach Out to an Experienced Denton, TX, Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

It’s extremely crucial to note that failing a drug test while you are on probation could lead to your arrest, probation revocation, extra probation time, additional probation conditions, jail time, more fines, or worse, a conviction.

Having your probation revoked can have far-reaching consequences on your life. If you have been accused of committing a probation violation or are unsure if you may have violated your probation conditions, seek legal advice from a skilled Denton, TX, criminal defense lawyer immediately. If your probation officer requires to sign a confession regarding the test, talk to a lawyer first!

To find out more about your case and your options moving forward, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Law Office of Brent D. Bowen, PLLC, as soon as possible. You can set up a free case review with our Denton, TX, criminal defense lawyer by calling 940-222-2488 or filling out our online contact form.