According to a new report from ProPublica, police have been using faulty field test kits to detect illegal drugs and make arrests for years despite knowing these tests were unreliable and subject to a much higher error rate than lab tests. In fact, in 2014, the Las Vegas crime lab submitted a report to the U.S Department of Justice indicating how the field test kits produce false positives and legal substances could cause the same color to appear.
With the overwhelming amounts of arrests made that year, it is likely innocent people were convicted of crimes they did not commit. Unfortunately, there is no way to find out how many of these arrests were based on false results because Las Vegas police department destroys the samples one the defendant enters a plea.
Today, Las Vegas police still use these faulty tests to make drug arrests and get convictions. Despite knowing how unreliable they are, the police department has not yet informed local judges of this knowledge. One local judge, Joe Bonaventure chief judge to the Las Vegas Justice Court, was recently informed of LVPD’s practice. He indicated he was concerned about the false positives offered by the tests but made no motion to alter his court’s regard for them.
Were You Arrested Based on False Positive?
At Oronoz and Ericsson Injury Lawyers, we believe everyone has a right to a fair and just trial. If you believe you were arrested based on the false positive of a faulty drug test, we can do whatever it takes to ensure your trial is not affected by unreliable evidence.