Cheronis & Parente LLC

Criminal Defense Blog

ON BEHALF OF CHERONIS & PARENTE LLC   /   September 12, 2018

Drug-induced homicide targets users not dealers

Your substance abuse problem likely means you have had your share of trouble. Perhaps you have gone through rehab, faced interventions and watched the sorrowful looks on your loved one’s faces as you struggled with sobriety. You may have had legal issues too if your addiction led you to make unwise choices.

Now, however, you may be facing one of the most serious situations you have had to handle. If you recently shared drugs with a friend who died from an overdose, law enforcement may be holding you criminally responsible. Illinois is not the only state that has added or rediscovered a drug-induced homicide law on the books. If police have charged you with such a crime, you have a right to be concerned about your future.

Lawmakers take a stand

In the 1980’s, lawmakers drafted laws for drug-induced homicide to hold crack dealers liable for the deaths of their customers. However, today’s law enforcement casts a much wider net with this criminal charge. The wording of the law allows the state to charge anyone who delivers a drug to someone when that drug results in another person’s death. If you shared your drugs, sold drugs or purchased drugs for someone else, the law holds you responsible if that person dies using the drug.

Illinois and most other states are dealing with an opioid crisis. You may be aware of the dangers of synthetic opioids such as fentanyl that are powerful and unpredictable. Perhaps you have had your own experience with an overdose and can understand the position of law enforcement and other authorities to hold someone responsible for drug deaths. However, if a court convicts you of drug-induced homicide, you are facing up to 30 years in prison.

Don’t face this alone

Penalties for crimes are meant to deter as well as to punish. However, many prosecutors in Illinois counties are reluctant to make deals for lesser charges in these cases, and you would benefit from a strong legal ally as early as possible in the criminal proceedings.

Any drug charges have the potential to ruin your life and prevent you from finding the assistance you need to regain a positive path for your future. A skilled defense attorney can evaluate the evidence against you and work to obtain a resolution that offers you every hope for an optimistic outcome.

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