Court Ordered Drug Tests

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Written by Elton Jenkins

Elton Jenkins is the founder of Elton Jenkins Law, P.L.L.C. which serves Oklahoma in both Criminal Defense and Family Law matters.

January 6, 2022

Probation Drug Testing

There are many situations where an individual may be required to provide a drug or alcohol test to fulfill a legal requirement that they are or will remain free from illegal substance use or alcohol abuse. With probation drug testing, a drug court, probation officer, or parole officer may require drug testing if it’s uncertain that an individual will maintain their sobriety, as a part of a criminal sentencing agreement. Drug and alcohol testing is also utilized in legal battles involving child custody, divorce cases, and in DUI or DWI cases.

Court-ordered drug and alcohol testing for probation is standard with federal probation, county probation, and drug courts across the United States. Probation drug testing started back in the 1960s as a part of treatment programs and aid in identifying heroin users in need of treatment and then monitoring their progress. Since then, pretrial programs have inquired about drug and alcohol use in their interviews of defendants, believing that such information is useful to judicial officers when determining conditions of release.

Drug tests in child custody case?

It is up to the court to decide if and when a drug test is needed. If the court thinks that a drug test is warranted, then they are required to order the test that is less intrusive. However, the results do not automatically serve to deny custody rights. Other factors are also considered relevant when arriving at this decision.

Drug Test Consequences On Custody

Most likely, a parent’s custody will be removed following their positive drug test result. In this situation, that parent’s visitation rights will have to be determined by the judge and the sober parent may be awarded sole custody. These rules are set according to the criteria of the court, and future drug tests could be ordered by the court and may involve other psychological testing be ordered as well.

Also, once the test determines that the parent is abusing alcohol or drugs, it follows that the court becomes interested in finding out whether the environment at home has led any children to have access to drugs or alcohol. If this proves to be the case, then the parent in question could be criminally charged based on child protection laws.

If it is determined by the court that the parent’s actions have placed the child in danger, then the parent can be sent to prison for child endangerment. Otherwise, Child Protective Services will typically get involved and start regular visitations to the child’s home in order to ensure that a healthy environment exists for the child. If it becomes obvious to CPS that the environment is or may be harmful to the child, then the custody situation will likely change.

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