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SkyStorm82
11-08-2010, 1:57 PM
I'm just wondering how different agencies write it in the report.*

"I found a small plastic baggie containing *methamphetamine"

Or*

"I found a small plastic baggie containing a white crystalline substance resembling methamphetamine"

It seems we flip flop on how they want it written and I can understand both arguements on the subject.*

On the one hand, we don't arrest people for substances resembling meth, we arrest them for possession of meth.*

One can also argue that on the stand, the defense can ask you if everything is true and correct in the report. I of course say yes. Then they ask, "Are you a chemist? How do you know it was meth you found?"....and of course what happens if he lab results actually do come back negative for meth?
Maybe the dumb tweaker got stiffed and was sold a little baggie of salt.

Now, even if one puts in .....substance resembling meth in the narrative of the report, on the charge line you put possession of a CNS stimulant (methamphetamine), 11377(a) H&S anyway so what's the point?

JeffM
11-08-2010, 2:16 PM
You arrest based on the probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed and the individual you're arresting is the one who committed it. If 100% certainty of guilt at the time of arrest was the standard, there would be no need for trials.

radioburning
11-08-2010, 2:24 PM
Don't they have drug testing kits? I could swear I've seen them test drugs on 'COPS'.

deadcoyote
11-08-2010, 2:36 PM
If the subject denies it's meth, I state its a white crystal...., If he freely admits post miranda its meth then I just call it meth in the report. Just my $0.02.

haodoken
11-08-2010, 2:37 PM
I document it as being "A baggie containing a white crystalline substance resembling Methamphetamine." I also do field chem test on it and document what was observed from the result. Then package it up at station and send it to the lab for the official testing. :D

SkyStorm82
11-08-2010, 2:40 PM
LOL *I'm still rocking an MDT....

You are right, some agencies do have drug testing kits. We don't have field test kits though. It all gets sent to our lab. *

The real issue to me is they way they want it in the report. Come on...you find a dude that looks like a tweaker, acts like a tweaker, is in a*tweaker car, and you find the drugs in a small baggie commonly used to hold meth....dude, it's meth. They usually cop to it anyway. ****

RickD427
11-08-2010, 2:54 PM
It's primarily a semantic distinction. Here's my two cents:

I refer to it as "methamphetamine". That language is consistent with the charge being placed against the arrestee. There is no law against the simple possession of a "substance resembling methamphetamine".

The opposing point of view is that an arresting officer cannot be certain that any particular substance is meth and that very detailed testing of the substance is required to meet the burden of proof required in court. The "substance resembling meth" line allows sufficient "weasel wording" in the event the substance ultimately proves to be something other than meth.

But there is no need for the "weasel wording". The legal standard to make an arrest is "probable cause" to believe that the suspect committed the offense he/she was arrested for. That's a far lower standard that the "proof beyond a reasonable doubt" standard required for a conviction. There is no requirement to speak with absolute certainty that substance is meth. The requisite "weasel wording" is already in the law.

IMHO, If I'm not certain enough (to the "probable cause" standard) to call it "meth" then I probably shouldn't be making the arrest in the first place.

fullrearview
11-08-2010, 4:00 PM
White crtstal...blah blah....until I test it, then its refered to meth from then on out!

tom2
11-08-2010, 6:38 PM
I found... /XXXX/......of suspected methamphetamine.

yzernie
11-08-2010, 6:54 PM
Years ago I got cross examined by a defense attorney who was pretty good. I learned a good lesson that day and ever since I use the following quote (disclaimer!!) in my reports.

"I am not a chemist nor a department analyst and the *name your test kit* field test kits are a presumptive test for the substance containing amphetamines. Upon a positive reaction by the test kit, I call the substance "suspected methamphetamine".

Triad
11-08-2010, 7:02 PM
We dont have field test kits so everything goes to the drug lab.

"White crystaline substance I suspected to be meth...ect"

DNA
11-09-2010, 11:25 AM
Now here's the fun one....

marijuana? or green leafy substance resembling marijuana?

we all know what it looks like, we all know what it smells like, so why does the CA care?

Dan

J_B
11-09-2010, 1:20 PM
White crtstal...blah blah....until I test it, then its refered to meth from then on out!

I am typing with my left hand due to a broken right hand.so beare with me, I go your route. Then add it tested presumptive positive for meth bla bla

J_B
11-09-2010, 1:22 PM
Now here's the fun one....

marijuana? or green leafy substance resembling marijuana?

we all know what it looks like, we all know what it smells like, so why does the CA care?

Dan

green leafy substance that tested presumptive postitive for MJ...stupid I know but it leaves no room for arguement as to 'if it rese,bled anytghing else

SVT-40
11-09-2010, 1:40 PM
I used the following lingo. " I discovered based upon my training and experience what appeared to be methamphetamine 's in a small clear plastic bag" in the suspects pocket (or where ever)

It helps if you have already been found to be a "expert" at the courts where you testify and have cases filed.

The only way the case could be filed would be for the formal lab test to prove your opinion as correct.

So a defense attorney would have a hard time disputing your opinion based upon your training and experience when you were in fact proved right.

fullrearview
11-09-2010, 5:43 PM
I am typing with my left hand due to a broken right hand.so beare with me, I go your route. Then add it tested presumptive positive for meth bla bla

Same academy!;)

fullrearview
11-09-2010, 5:48 PM
green leafy substance that tested presumptive postitive for MJ...stupid I know but it leaves no room for arguement as to 'if it rese,bled anytghing else

I just say MJ. Its the one drug you can smell once and know exactly what it is from then on.

1911su16b870
11-09-2010, 8:59 PM
What is the current policy for chemical ID in south Los Angeles ? I know dea field labs can help out as presented in their mg reports.

ckim34
11-10-2010, 3:32 PM
white crystalline substance that I fielded tested. The test was positive for methamphetamine.

Steve G
11-10-2010, 4:06 PM
Years ago I got cross examined by a defense attorney who was pretty good. I learned a good lesson that day and ever since I use the following quote (disclaimer!!) in my reports.

"I am not a chemist nor a department analyst and the *name your test kit* field test kits are a presumptive test for the substance containing amphetamines. Upon a positive reaction by the test kit, I call the substance "suspected methamphetamine".

It's really something to see a good lawyer work his magic!! :43:

MaHoTex
11-10-2010, 5:26 PM
LOL *I'm still rocking an MDT....

You are right, some agencies do have drug testing kits. We don't have field test kits though. It all gets sent to our lab. *

The real issue to me is they way they want it in the report. Come on...you find a dude that looks like a tweaker, acts like a tweaker, is in a*tweaker car, and you find the drugs in a small baggie commonly used to hold meth....dude, it's meth. They usually cop to it anyway. ****

Curious, what is a tweaker car?

Spanky8601
11-11-2010, 7:13 PM
Curious, what is a tweaker car?

Find a tweaker who drives the same car every day and look inside. There will be no further questions after you have seen one. :43:

MaHoTex
11-11-2010, 7:48 PM
Ah. HaHaHa. It is not my lifestyle so I would not know. I was thinking it was something like an 86 Lincoln Towncar with fuzzy dice or something.

retired
11-11-2010, 10:39 PM
Ah. HaHaHa. It is not my lifestyle so I would not know. I was thinking it was something like an 86 Lincoln Towncar with fuzzy dice or something.

If the Towncar was pink or a fluorescent green it would be a pimp care.:D

MaHoTex
11-12-2010, 6:05 AM
Ah yes. HaHa Do not forget the fuzzy steering wheel too. I laugh because I drove my dads 86 Towncar around for a few years while he drove my truck. I am sure a 30 something in a big 'ol tuna boat looked odd. It served its purpose though.

BigDogatPlay
11-12-2010, 2:04 PM
White crtstal...blah blah....until I test it, then its refered to meth from then on out!

^^This^^

The report doesn't, IMO, have to be as formal as the eventual testimony on the stand... the negative on stand experiences of some above not withstanding.

:)