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MOCCAB (6 panel) and Legal Proceedings: What Solicitors, Barristers and Social Workers Need to Know

Published 07/06/2024


Understanding the Legal Implications of Drug Test Results

In the realm of legal proceedings, the ability to accurately determine the presence of drugs in an individual's system is invaluable. The MOCCAB panel (6 panel)—covering Methamphetamines, Opiates, Cannabis, Cocaine, Amphetamines, and Benzodiazepines—represents a comprehensive range of substances whose detection can significantly influence the outcome of many cases. For the legal sector, understanding how these tests are conducted, interpreted, and applied in court can profoundly affect legal strategies and case outcomes.


Influencing Decisions in Family Law

Custody Disputes: cannabis and benzodiazepines testing can influence child custody decisions. Positive tests, especially when recurrent, can demonstrate a lack of parental fitness due to substance abuse.

Adoption Procedures: Ensuring that prospective adoptive parents are free from abuse of substances like methamphetamines or opiates is vital for securing a safe and stable environment for the child.


Navigating the Legal Implications of MOCCAB Testing

The testing process must ensure that the chain of custody is maintained from sample collection to the lab analysis to preserve the integrity of the test results. Any break in this chain can be a critical point of contention in court. Highlighting that the tests are performed in compliance with ISO 17025 standards reassures the family court of the reliability and accuracy of the evidence.

In terms of result interpretation, knowing the difference between trace levels and levels indicating active use is crucial, especially for drugs like cannabis, where passive inhalation can sometimes result in positive tests. When it comes to hair, the Society of Hair Testing (SoHT), has published cut off levels to differentiate between users and non users.

Understanding how long drugs remain detectable in the system can help in arguing the timing of use — important in both criminal and civil contexts. At AttoLife, we always provide detailed Expert Witness Statements, so you know where you stand in terms of legal defensibility.

Effective Use of Expert Testimony

Expert witnesses can translate complex toxicology results into understandable terms, helping social workers, solicitors, judges and juries make informed decisions. This can work on either side of the case, whether clearly stating scientific findings, or providing skilled cross examination.


Strategic Considerations for Solicitors Using MOCCAB Tests

1. Pre-proceedings
Social services through the local authority can instruct this comprehensive 6 panel of drugs to test the family members and parents when negligence is suspected. 

2. During Trial
AttoLife Expert witnesses can support all parties including solicitors with clear and concise explanations of test results. Our experts are also ready to appear as witnesses in court to be  cross examined and questioned on the whole process to support the court.

3. Post-Trial Implications
Understanding the nuances of MOCCAB testing can be crucial for appeals, especially if new evidence or questions about the accuracy of testing methods arise. Our expert team can provide addendums to better explain any complex question or provide support with any needed additional information to all parties. 



For legal professionals, mastering the intricacies of MOCCAB - 6 panel drug tests is more than a technical skill—it is a necessity that can determine the trajectory of a wide range of legal proceedings. By staying informed about the latest developments in drug testing and actively engaging with the scientific aspects of these tests, barristers and solicitors better protect their clients' interests and navigate the complexities of the legal system with confidence.AttoLife remains committed to supporting legal professionals with accurate, reliable, and court-admissible testing services, ensuring that every case is as robust and well-informed as possible.

Please get in touch with our team for any enquiry about, hair strand drug testing, nail drug testing or blood drug testing.