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Massachusetts: The Annie Dookhan Drug Lab Scandal

    By now I am sure that a lot of you have heard of this case. A Massachusetts drug lab chemist was found to have falsified drug certificates by neglecting to test samples that she claimed to have tested, signing initials of other chemists and switching samples of drugs amongst different cases. This has effected over 60,000 samples and over 34,000 defendants.

     The question for a defendant is “what do I do if I think that my case involved a drug certificate issued by Annie Dookhan?” or “what do I do if I don’t know whether my case involved Annie Dookhan?” Even if your case is “over” (ie your probation is now terminated or your jail sentence completed), you may still have a legal remedy as a result of the Dookhan scandal.

     The first step is to contact your attorney. If you tendered a plea to the court, or the matter went to trial, your counsel should have a copy of the certificate in your file. You are free to request a copy of the certificate itself or to simply speak to your attorney about the issue. In some cases, you may find that your attorney will contact you about the issue.

     If you find that your case did involved Annie Dookhan, speak to an attorney about what steps to take in your case. Though there is a general protocol already in effect for these issues, each case is different. You should make sure that you know your rights and remedies and make an informed decision based on the guidance of legal counsel.

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