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JAG Defense
JAG Defense, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 124
Experience:  CAPT, JAGC, USN (Retired); Former Military Judge; Specializing in Security Clearance Adjudications
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I failed a National Guard drug unit drug test for pot. I am

Customer Question

I failed a National Guard drug unit drug test for pot. I am not a regular pot smoker and this is my first offense (first time ever failing a test or getting in official trouble with the army). I smoked up with my friends one night when i was pretty drunk. I mad a bad decision. I know i screwed up and, well i am going to soldier up face the punishment like a man and not bullshit them. Sadly i really messed this up because i am an officer 1LT with about 5 years in service with the guard. My questions are:

What will happen to me?
Will there be any legal actions against me?
Can my unit/The Army disclose my testing positive for pot to my civilian employer and other associations i am a part of?

Any information will be very helpful. I know i messed up, and it is more than certain that i will never smoke again.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Military Law
Expert:  JAG Defense replied 7 years ago.
Unfortunately yes, most of the things you are worried about could happen although some will depend on the rest of the circumstances.

First thing is to keep your mouth shut until you have retained and discussed the case with an attorney. As a retired officer myself I very much understand your desire to stand up and take your punishment...but talk to your lawyer first.

You can be processed out of the service; you could possibly face a Court-Martial as well, but those decisions will be made by the command.

As for telling your civilian employer, that will depend on if there is any connection between your military and civilian careers. If your civilian career is totally different/separate from your military career, then the government could be violating your privacy rights by advising the civilian employer; on the other hand, if you work for the government (either as an employee or a contractor) and particularly if you have a security clearance, then this incident could affect both your military and civilian careers.

First thing to do (after you get an attorney) is get familiar with the processes that could be affected (disciplinary and administrative) so you know what you are facing.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Thank you for your input. From your professional experience, what do you estimate i am facing. What will happen?
Expert:  JAG Defense replied 7 years ago.
Because you are in the Guard it becomes a bit more difficult to say. You could be given a chance that active forces are not given; but that is not to say you WILL be given that chance. The command has to do something - and this is where you MAY be fortunate if you are a stand up guy...but you need to retain an attorney who handles urinalysis cases BEFORE you start talking with the government.

From there it could go anywhere, possibly with an Other Than Honorable discharge from the military. Possibly a Court-Martial, but most of these are handled administratively.

Unfortunately, there are often too many people who think that "zero tolerance" for drug abuse means mandatory separation...that is not what the law says; but is how many people interpret it.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you very much for your inupt, i have one last question and i will stop bothering you.

My employment has nothing to do with the government, however i am a volenteer firefighter for my local township and am in training to become a career fire fighter. How badly will this be affected?

I am not a drug user and this was rare for me smoking and it just so happend that i was tested. What luck. Does that play a role at all?
Expert:  JAG Defense replied 7 years ago.
Some government jobs are affected by what your DD-214 will say. I cannot tell you for certain if your particular applications will be affected because some won't hire people with less than an Honorable Discharge; but others will based upon the circumstances.

The problem becomes convincing a prospective employer that you really are not a drug user and just got caught the first time (which actually does happen).

BotXXXXX XXXXXne is no way to say for certain...
JAG Defense and other Military Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you for all your help sir. I am very greatful.
Expert:  JAG Defense replied 7 years ago.
Good luck with it; hope it turns out well.