Can Guilford County criminal attorneys explain when field tests are needed for probable cause of drug crimes? Of course! It would be easy to assume that an officer is required to do some sort of field test for probable cause related to drug crimes. Although field tests are helpful in determining what a substance is, there are certain instances in which officers are actually not required to perform one. If you are unsure of whether an officer should have performed a field test prior to your drug charge, you should not hesitate to contact a Greensboro criminal defense attorney!
For example, white powders usually do not need to be field tested. Fentanyl is an opioid drug that is often used to relieve pain. Like many other pain relievers, it can often be abused because it is extremely powerful. Therefore, small doses of Fentanyl can be extremely harmful or even cause death. Fentanyl is sometimes presented in the form of a white powder, so it can be difficult to distinguish it from other powders without doing a field test. It can be ingested, inhaled, or it can even be absorbed through the skin and eyes. Therefore, as more of a policy measure, officers are warned against field testing white powders because drugs such as Fentanyl can be extremely dangerous for the officers to handle.
Therefore, officers are not required to field test substances such as these. Probable cause for any offense “depends on the totality of the circumstances.” Maryland v. Pringle, 540 U.S. 366 (2003). For example, if an officer sees a large amount of cash along with the substance in question, the totality of the circumstances suggests that it is a kind of drug. Circumstances may also depend upon where specifically the substance was found. For more information regarding field tests for drug crimes, call a Greensboro criminal defense lawyer today at 336-379-0539! The criminal defense attorneys at Garrett, Walker, Aycoth and Olson know the requirements of the law and also genuinely care about each and every case presented by their clients.