You found suspicious looking pills or other possible drugs in your house or car. Will the police identify them for you? In many cities the answer is yes but the way you approach it can reduce potential problems.
Only an attorney should advise you about individual situations but the following tips can be helpful in deciding what to do.
Call and ask: Before walking into a police department possessing what might be illegal drugs, call and ask if they are willing to identify what you found if you leave it with them afterwards.
Don’t say it was in your house: Toss the substance into your yard, pick it up from there and proceed. Now you are telling the truth when you state that you found this in your front yard and want to know what it is.
Relax: You are not the first or last parent to arrive at a precinct asking if what they found in the front yard is drugs. Officers are trained to recognize drugs and will most likely be able to tell you what it appears to be without even testing it.
Plan your timing: Once the police positively identify it as an illegal substance or pills without a prescription, they cannot give it back to you. If you plan on confronting a family member and want to show them what you found, do it before taking it to the police for identification.
Try the pharmacist: If what you found are pills, your neighborhood pharmacist can identify them for you. In addition, you can look them up on an online pill identifier. If it’s not pills these resources won’t help.
Common sense: Take a very small amount of what you found. For example, if you found 100 pills, take one in for identification. If you take all 100 you have just alerted the police that someone in your family might be selling drugs. This is a whole different scenario for them than simply identifying what you found in your yard which could indicate your family member has a drug issue.
Final thoughts: Often times the threat of taking what you found to the police to identify will prompt said family member to come clean and tell you what it is. If not, having it identified will give you an idea of what addiction you are dealing with and you can go from there.