Dasha Fincher spent three months in jail after two Georgia deputies said a field test of a blue substance found in her car turned up positive for methamphetamine. While in jail she missed the birth of her twin grandchildren, could not help with her daughter’s miscarriage, and was refused medical care for a broken hand and ovarian cyst. However, the substance in her car was not methamphetamine. In fact, it was not an illegal substance at all. It was cotton candy. But despite professing her innocence repeatedly to officers, Fincher was arrested for possession and trafficking of narcotics due to an incorrect field test. She was then forced to wait in jail until the Georgia Bureau of Investigation had time to test the substance, as she could not pay her $1 million bail. When the GBI finally confirmed that the substance did not contain any narcotics, Ms. Fincher was still forced to wait almost two more weeks before she was released. Now, she is suing Monroe County and the three officers involved for wrongful imprisonment and violation of her civil rights. Her lawsuit is also directed towards Sirchie Acquisition Company, the maker of the field kit that the deputies used to “test” the cotton candy. Ms. Fincher hopes that her case can spark some changes within the justice system, especially in terms of drug testing and the length of time that was necessary for her release. Hopefully her case also changes the way in which the field test kits are used, as clearly, they are not the most reliable method for drug detection. Generally the field kits have a solution that changes color when certain drugs are placed inside. The problem is that dyed cotton candy or any other dyed substance can easily create a false positive. The Law Offices of Steven J Pisani specialize in DUI, traffic, and criminal defense. If you have been accused of a drug crime, call our Denver office today for a free consultation at 303-635-6768.
CNN, Dakin Andone and AJ Willingham, November 27th, 2018