In March of 2016, a New Jersey State Police Laboratory scandal emerged regarding failures to appropriately verify drug samples. In fact, the lab technician involved was accused of dry labbing positive test results – or asserting positive results without actually performing any of the necessary lab work. It’s very likely that such dry labbing techniques have led to many false marijuana (and possibly other illegal substance) convictions in New Jersey.
It Gets Worse
While the dry labbing news in New Jersey is not good, an even more troubling situation seems to be brewing in Massachusetts and some of its surrounding states. The concerns revolve around a series of high-profile incidents that involve drug lab technicians:
- Annie Dookhan, a former chemist, was convicted of crimes that stemmed from her negligence in thousands of drug sample tests, which included the mixing up of samples and the forging of signatures. It is estimated that Ms. Dookhan’s crimes affected about 60,000 separate cases.
- Sonja Farak, a lab technician, was convicted of stealing drug samples from the lab over an almost ten-year span; she replaced the drug evidence with drug facsimiles and proceeded to use the stolen drugs while performing her job duties.
Since these discoveries, New Jersey has taken action to implement improved testing procedures that are less prone to falsification and fraudulence. The traditional testing method that had been employed is a lot less technical that most people would probably imagine – it’s basically been based largely on physical characteristics and visuals (a more rigorous kind of eyeballing). Advocacy groups for defendants have long warned against this identification method.
New Jersey is currently moving toward the gold standard of drug sample testing, the gas chromatography-mass spectrometry instrument test, which features a far more technologically advanced reading that can positively or negatively identify a specific substance like marijuana.
If you think your conviction may have been based on falsified test results, you likely need legal counsel.
For More Information about Appeal Options for a Case that May Hinge on Fraudulent Drug Testing, Call 973-686-9787 Today
If you believe that your conviction may have been obtained with falsified evidence, do not hesitate to contact the Law Offices of David W. Polsky today. As an experienced criminal defense lawyer, David has proficiency in drug charge defense and will fight for your rights. We’re here to help, so give us a call at 973-686-9787 or contact us online.