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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 26420
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Possible outcome of a diluted urine drug test in drug court

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Possible outcome of a diluted urine drug test in drug court program?
I know this wont be legal advise, just want to know if you have experience in this and what can happen?

Hi Jacustomer,

Yes, I've had a lot of experience with this one, having spent a couple of years as in-house counsel in a Drug Treatment Court. There is little you can do that's more serious than tampering in Treatment Court. Reuse is bad, but the courts understand that relapse is a natural part of recovery. Cheating, on the other hand, is something not tolerated.

If you are suspected of tampering, the result of your drug test will be construed as a positive. You can expect a phase setback and maybe even a brief period of incarceration. A repeat performace could be grounds for being bounced from the program, which would trigger the prison alternative. But that's unlikely for the first time you tamper unless you've already been in substantial trouble in Treatment Court and this would be the straw that breaks the camel's back.


If they are not sure, you'll get a warning and perhaps a retest.

Zoey_ JD and other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you very much! So if it is thought that it was diluted by consuming too much water it will be considered positive? How would they know that it was done intentionally anf not accidentally?


And if this incident happened after 2 months perfect compliance what could happen?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

In other words since bring in program I have had perfect compliance

It all depends.

The court follows certain national testing guidelines that determines what level of water would constitute too much dilution. If it were feasible they could retest you and see what those results would sho.

If your history is good, best case scenario would be a warning. Worst would be that you'd be removed from the program. I don't see that they'd remove you after two months of perfect compliance, but there will be some sanction, as if they think it's intentional tampering, it will count as a positive.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ok thank you,

Do these courts ask probation officer for a recommendation? Or if it is too diluted and considered a positive then would they just do what they normally do for a first positive? (48 hours incarceration)

In my experience, the Treatment Court team will discuss the matter among themselves and decide what to do with you. Probation won't have input, but the judge, the DA, your lawyer, the court social worker and your program representative will ve part of the conference.

Yes, if they consider it a positive they will treat it as they would any first positive.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ok thanks, XXXXX XXXXX just one last thing. Should I contact my attorney to discuss these things, or should I wait a couple days to see what the results are of the test?


and if confronted by my councelor about this would it be in my best interest (punishment wise) to tell them I slipped up, or to tell them it was not intentionally done?

I know you cant give legal advise but what would you say would get the least punishment


I can't do more than to talk in very general terms, which I've already done. I think you'll get a second chance here if they think you were likely tampering, but it really depends on how close to the guidlines you are, along with your history and background and anything the Treatment Court team knows that I won't.

It's unlikely that with a perfect history, one diluted urine is going to get you bounced, as one positive wouldn't get you bounced either. But it's not like the Treatment Court team doesn't know the tricks that people pull to try to disguise drug use. Be careful. Making a habit of something like this will cost you your opportunity to finish this program.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


i am just wondering though if someone were asked about a diluted specimen if it would be better for them to fess up, or to say that it was not intentional?

Just generally speaking

Generally speaking an "I reused and I was scared, so I tried to flush my system" would be better than an outright denial if the urine is very dilute.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

ok, i am going to add a tip since you have been so helpful.


But if somebody were sick and had consumed large amounts of water, a diluted specimen would happen, so if somebody said this they couldnt really be proven wrong?


Just generally speaking in drug court

Yes. If you have a real reason for consuming large quantities of water, then it's possible your excuse would be accepted. Medically speaking, however, I don't know what condition requires you to drink large quantities of water. And if you don't either, it's not going to have the ring of truth.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

If somebody was sick with a stomach flu and was told to drink a lot of water, and that somebody did as told... wouldnt that be in the ring of truth

If you can hold the water down, yes, water is good if you're dehydrating.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

ok so this could be a reasonable explanation generally speaking

Generally speaking it's reasonable, but don't make the mistake of thinking that they haven't heard it dozens of times before. They know it's not always true.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

i understand, just if that is a reason they cant be sure it was intentionally diluted it is good...



I'm sorry, but you're not going to get me or any other lawyer to say that it's a good idea ever to lie to the court. Nor can I guarantee that any good will come out of doing it. In my experience, the best way to deal in Treatment Court is honestly.

Best of luck to you.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.


i am just wondering if somebody should contact their attorney in this situation, or if this person just presents that they were ill is it good enough

I can 't tell you what's good enough. I've told you what the worst case scenario is likely to be. I can't predict specfically what your test will show or how aggressively you'lll be questioned about it.

If you're concerned, then having your lawyer show up on your court date is a good idea.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Fair enough,

I will tip you, and I apologize for all the questions, you are just the first person that I have found who is a reliable source with experience with this type of court.


Just to be sure you dont think in this scenario, and with previous perfect compliance the court will seek the worst scenario? Just generally speaking


And do these courts even listen to a lawyer? It seems to me that regardless of a lawyer present they do what they want


I have answered your first question several times. I do not think that the court will be seeking the worst case scenario.

As to the second question, Treatment Court is a concensus court. That is, decisions are made by a team and agreed to in advance, as I said earlier. Your lawyer is entitled to input. Can he change anything? Impossible to predict. Sometimes they can. Sometimes they can't.

Good luck!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you

Good luck to you!

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