Criminal charges if you test positive on a drug test?

Let’s say you go to a private employer and apply for a job but they require you to take a urine analysis. You test positive for an illegal drug. In addition to not getting a job/getting fired, could the authorities charge you with anything if they got ahold of the results? Could they use it as probable cause to search your house? Are there any cases of this happening?

IANAL, but no. Why would the employer just not hire me and forget about the cops?

IANAL, but now the employer has knowledge of a crime? Doesn’t that put a burden on them to report that information to the police? Hope not, but laws have become so draconian now days, that I suspect they would be required to report the information.

Generally the police have better things to deal with than simple drug use. It’s the distributors (who often end up involved with violence to defend their markets) that they want to catch. In most areas, simply being on drugs is not a crime- only pocession or distribution are. Even then, small time pocession rarely amounts to much in terms of legal consequences- not that I would test this out. Frankly, the police don’t have the energy or inclination to follow up every lead about everyone that smokes a little pot or what have you.

If they really want to get you while you are on drugs, they can arrest you for causing a public disturbance or something like that.

There are also some reports of women being arrested in the hospital after giving birth for testing positive for crack. I’m not sure what they were arrested for.

No. The prospective employer would have to prove I committed a crime. What if their tests were wrong? My attorney would challenge them. In the US, the burden of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt. All my legal counsel would have to do would have to argue reasonable doubt.

Unless the postive test belongs to someone on parole or probation, it’s highly unlikely that any criminal charges could result. It’s even unlikely that such a test could create probable cause, given the length of time between the test and the results.

Unlawful child neglect in this instance. I also recall hearing of charges of delivery of a controlled substance to a minor (via the umbilical cord during the time between the baby’s birthing and the cutting of the cord). Not sure how well those charges tend to stick.

Well, it would only be evidence of a crime if in your jurisdiction having drugs in your system is illegal. Using the drugs might be, but then the DA would have to prove that to be in your system(or test positive for them in a test) is sufficient evidence that you used them. So, really what the employer has is nothing legally. That positive drug test is not enough information for cops to do anything useful. You probably couldn’t even get a search warrant on such a trivial thing.

I don’t think that is correct. the prospective employer is not ever in a position to prove anything. That would be up to the district attorney. What I am thinking is that the employer would have a legal obligation to report a positive drug test, not that he/she would choose to do so. Lets stipulate up front that a) the prospective employer does not want to report the results and b) the police don’t want to hear about it. My point is that there is an obligation to report a evidence of a crime. Not ironclad proof but evidence. Certainly a positive drug test result is taken seriously, employers will use that as the sole reason not to hire an invidividual (and if the employer is a government contractor they aren not allowed to hire that person).

So, bad as this possible situation is (to me), if a private entity or person has evidence of a crime, is that person under an obligation to take that evidence to the authorities?

>My point is that there is an obligation to report a evidence of a crime.

What state requires this?

And how does one distinguish actual evidence from apparent evidence, and an actual crime from an apparent crime?

There are certain situations where certain people are required to report evidence of certain crimes, e.g. in many states teachers and doctors must report suspected child abuse. But as a general principle for all sorts of crimes, I don’t think you’ll see a legal requirement to report. If there were such a requirement, it would be a godawful unwieldy mess with everyone reporting everything they thought might qualify, as well as a nasty police state atmosphere.

Would this not be priveleged information? The doctor who administers the test doesn’t have the responsibility to turn you in.

Urine tests for employment generally don’t involve a doctor at all.

This would have to be “child endangerment”. Have you ever seen a crack baby? Life for them is certainly not easy from the beginning, and there can be long-term after effects due to mom’s negligence/addiction during pregnancy.