Drug-related charges remain a leading cause for fines and jail time in Texas and across the United States. An Arkansas case sheds some unsettling light on how these charges are sometimes erroneous, and it serves as a warning to motorists about taking steps to avoid them.
In May 2016, a man and a woman driving a truck and making a delivery to an Army base were inspected by authorities at the gates. The two men commonly purchased bulk amounts of baking soda, which they kept in unmarked plastic bags in their truck. Inspectors suspected the bags contained cocaine. Their suspicions were confirmed by multiple tests with an inexpensive roadside kit. The two were held for two months in jail on drug possession charges. This was disastrous for their business and personal lives, and it took them quite a while to recover.
The cocaine was later tested by a lab using much more advanced testing methods. This more thorough test showed that the baking soda was negative for cocaine. The suspects were released soon after this discovery, but the damage was already done. It was discovered that the authorities had used very inexpensive testing kits that notoriously gave false positives on many innocuous substances.
The plight of these truckers serves as a reminder to anyone facing a drug charge. It is important to be sure the best facts are brought to court and that those facts are accurate. It may be possible to dispute the results of a test done by the arresting authorities and demand that more comprehensive and accurate tests be performed. This legal strategy is one of many an attorney may pursue in defense of a client.