Things That Can Happen If You Fail a Court Drug Test

Depending on the local state laws where you live, probation comes with a particular set of rules you must follow to stay out of prison. One of the most common requirements is that you remain sober until the end of the probation period.

Of course, breaking any of the rules will land you in jail as soon as you get caught. But what are the consequences of being positive on a court drug test? Well, that depends on the drugs you used and the severity of the crime you were convicted of in the first place.

Here are some of the possible outcomes that could happen if you fail a court drug test.

Drug Testing During Probation

The rules for drug testing during probation are not the same in every state, but most of them have some kind of substance abuse tests in place. You will get random tests during meetings with your parole officer, or the court will order regular drug testing on specific dates.

Some states would prohibit drug or alcohol use during probation, even if your crimes had nothing to do with drug or alcohol abuse. A single glass of wine could be enough to give you a positive result which can then have one of the following implications.

Dripping blue liquid into test tubes on white background


Every probation comes with a set of conditions you have to follow to stay out of prison. Depending on the state you live in and the severity of the crime, you could get a warning the first time you break the rules.

If your drug test is positive, the court may let you go with a warning if it’s the only issue. However, if you are caught selling drugs, not only using them, you will be returned to prison right away.

If you do get off with a warning, you should stop using drugs immediately and refrain from future drug use at least until the probation period is over or risk various penalties.

Community Service

Other than a warning, you might also get community service after testing positive for drugs during the probation. This sentence aims to allow you to stay off the drugs and become a useful member of society.


However, if you keep using the drug after the community service sentence was already issued, your parole officer might decide to move you into another program or a rehabilitation facility until you get clean.

That includes getting caught with drugs, being positive on a test, or getting caught while consuming. If you refuse to comply with the parole officer’s instructions, you will be returned to jail immediately.

Working With Professional Counselors

If all prior rehabilitation methods failed, the court might order you to work with a professional counselor specializing in drug abuse recovery. Special counseling is done to access your mental state and help guide you through rehab.

After the counselor gives his professional opinion about the severity of the problem and what caused it, the court will decide what to do next. If your drug problem isn’t that severe, the court could order you to stay in the program and work things out with the counselor.

Some convicts made a full recovery when working with professionals, while others had to either go to special rehabilitation clinics or return to jail.

Fines and Jail Time

Depending on your probation officer and the current circumstances, a positive court drug test can be settled in a few different ways. With that said, any direct probation violations could lead to fines and charges in court fees.

If you get caught using or selling drugs to another person, you might be ordered to pay the other person in victim damages. However, if you’re the only one involved, the court may order you to pay a smaller fine together with the court fees.

handcuffes and judge on the table

However, if your wrong behavior during probation is not connected to drug abuse, or if you have a serious substance abuse issue, your parole officer can order you to go to a rehab center or recommend that you are put in the county jail for a few days or weeks.

That’s simply a warning sign often used to deter convicts from future drug use. Sometimes, a few days in jail are all a person needs to feel like to be in prison. The court may also extend the probation period if you break the rules.

Seek Legal Support

Not all drug tests are accurate, so some offenders can test positive even if they didn’t use any illegal substances. You should always contact your lawyer and discuss further steps to avoid additional fines and penalties. You should do the same if the tests are positive for a reason.

The best thing to do is stay sober and follow all of the court’s guidelines during the probation period. That way, you won’t have to think about the possible consequences of being positive on a court drug test.

Good luck!