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Can I Be Held Responsible if I Sold Someone Drugs and They Overdosed?

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Collin County criminal defense attorneyOpioid abuse is a major problem in Texas. About 5,000 people are known to have died of an overdose in Texas in 2021 alone, and officials fear that number underestimates the true number of opioid deaths because postmortem toxicology tests can be expensive. Nearly 10,000 people visited emergency rooms for opioid-related problems in previous years and Texas’s program to provide medicine that can save someone from an overdose ran out of funding in January. 

Federal law allows a drug dealer who sells opioids to someone who later dies of an overdose to be held responsible for that person’s death, but Texas state laws are not yet in line with other states that have implemented harsh drug homicide laws that match federal penalties. For now, despite charges for drug-related homicide being somewhat difficult to prove, prosecutors are still eager to punish alleged drug dealers to the fullest extent of the law. Defending against these charges requires the help of an experienced drug crimes defense attorney. 

Issues of Evidence

The main problem standing the way of an effective prosecution for a conviction of drug-induced homicide is that it is often very difficult for prosecutors to collect evidence linking the dealer to the victim. When the main witness is dead, how can officials prove that a specific person provided the drugs that caused the overdose? Extensive investigations are necessary, including search warrants and a lot of time spent combing through text messages, voicemails, and more. 

Prosecutors often try to get around this problem by arresting the alleged drug dealer and threatening enormous prison sentences and fines in the hopes that it will lead to a plea deal. Indeed, a successful conviction for selling drugs to an overdose victim can result in up to 20 years in prison. 

This is where having an attorney is essential. While you are protected by the Fifth Amendment and cannot be obligated to testify to your own guilt, your attorney can help assess the evidence the prosecution is likely to have, as well as whether you stand a chance of beating the charges in court. Rushing to settle for a plea deal may leave you spending time in jail when you did not have to. 

Call a Plano, TX Overdose Homicide Lawyer

If you are facing charges of drug dealing, especially dealing involving drug-induced homicide, get representation from an aggressive, experienced  Collin County criminal defense attorney with The Crowder Law Firm, P.C.. We will fight for your constitutional rights and make every effort to get your charges reduced or dropped altogether. Call us today at 214-303-9600 to schedule your free consultation. 

 

Sources: 

https://www.texastribune.org/2022/08/03/texas-narcan-opioids/

https://www.texastribune.org/2022/07/05/university-texas-drug-overdose-data/

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