Nothing is more stressful than a surprise drug test at work – especially if you think you might fail. A failed drug test could result in serious consequences. Even the embarrassment of failing the test is enough to make anyone nervous.
Furthermore, in some cases, a failed drug test indicates that you broke the law. Will you have to worry about the police showing up at your door with your test results and handcuffs?
The short answer is probably not.
If You’re Not Already in Legal Trouble, You’re Probably Okay
If you’re already in legal trouble when you take the test, you’re more likely to face some serious consequences for having controlled substances in your system.
Otherwise, the police aren’t going to waste the resources it would take to raid your office and take away everyone that failed their drug test.
Are Employers Required to Give Drug Tests in Texas?
Texas law actually doesn’t address drug testing specifically in a private company. Testing is at your employer’s discretion. The law does say that only time an employer cannot drug test you is when they are doing so in a discriminatory manner.
Publicly sharing the results of a drug test, or conducting the drug test in an inappropriate manner, are also unlawful.
If you are applying for a federal job within the state of Texas, you may be required to take a drug test. This isn’t due to Texas laws, though. It’s Federal law that requires some agencies to drug test potential or current employees.
Failing a Pre-Employment Drug Test in Texas
It’s a simple fact. Some companies use drug tests as a part of their hiring process. So what happens if you do fail your test?
Number one, you can probably count on not getting the job. In the broad majority of cases, there is no “number two” after that. Companies aren’t going to take any further action and tattle on you. They’ve got other things to worry about.
What if you’re already working, though? Could you get fired?
Failing a Drug Test While Employed in Texas
Failing a random drug test may get in the way of holding onto your position, but actually…not always. Employers have specific policies regarding what happens after a failed drug test. They may also make decisions on a case-by-case basis.
You may lose your job. Or, your employer may require you to take a second test so you can prove that you cleaned up your act.
Other employers will subject the employee to an education or rehab program with a deadline. If the employee can’t complete the program and stay clean after that, then they will be let go.
Again, your employer is unlikely to take legal action against employees (or former employees) who have failed a drug test. Some companies could even face legal consequences for breaching an employee’s privacy and reporting them.
Talk to your employer about policies that they have regarding drug testing and consequences for drug testing. It’s best to be prepared, especially if the company decides to randomly test its employees.
When Failing a Drug Test in Texas Will Have Legal Consequences
If you are currently on probation, you should be more worried about failing a drug test. Judges may require offenders to submit to drug testing throughout the course of their sentences. Failing the test could eventually mean that you go back to prison.
Not even this is a hard-and-fast rule, however. The first time you fail a drug test on probation, you will probably get hit with a warning.
Your probation officer will go into more detail about when your next drug test will be and what might happen if you fail. Repeatedly failing a drug test, though, could be grounds for probation violation charges and potentially going back to prison.
If You Are Caught Selling or Moving Drugs, You Will Face Legal Consequences
It’s worth repeating: If you are caught selling or moving drugs, you will face legal consequences. Failing a drug test simply indicates that you consumed, and at one point possessed drugs.
Get caught selling or trafficking drugs, though, and you will go back to jail. Even if you are not caught with large quantities of drugs, you could be charged with trafficking which nearly always ends in a jail sentence.
All Drug Charges Are Serious in Texas
It is normal to be worried about drug charges. Texas is behind the increasing number of states in the country that have legalized marijuana for recreational or medicinal use. (CBD oil is legal, but not THC oil.)
Furthermore, penalties for other drug crimes can be pretty harsh and go beyond jail time, probation, or fines, in this state.
If you are convicted of drug crimes in Texas, you may have a hard time getting a loan or getting an apartment. You may have to report this on an employment application and be rejected before the employer can even drug test you, as well.
Facing drug crime charges? Fight back. Talk to a Texas defense lawyer to build a solid defense strategy and avoid the long-lasting penalties of a drug crime conviction.
About the Author:
After getting his Juris Doctor from the University of Houston Law Center, Jeff Hampton began practicing criminal law in Texas in 2005. Before becoming a defense attorney, he worked as a prosecutor for the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office – an experience he uses to anticipate and cast doubt on the arguments that will be used against his clients. Over the course of his career, he has helped countless Texans protect their rights and get the best possible outcome in their criminal cases. His skill has earned him recognition from the National Trial Lawyers (Top 100 Trial Lawyers) and Avvo (Top Attorney in Criminal Defense, Top Attorney in DUI & DWI, 10/10 Superb Rating), and he is Lead Counsel rated.