Attorney for Drug Delivery Resulting in Death
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, there were nearly 6,000 overdose deaths in Pennsylvania last year. To help combat the opioid crisis, the Commonwealth established a law that would punish individuals for selling or prescribing a drug that resulted in death. This law targets doctors who over prescribe painkillers as much as it targets street dealer.
Whether you prescribed the drugs or sold them for money, Pennsylvania treats drug delivery resulting in death seriously. The charge is treated similar to murder, so you will need the guidance of an experienced defense team on your side.
Chester County, PA Attorney for Drug Delivery Resulting in Death
If you are being investigated for drug delivery resulting in death, the courts will try to label you as a murderer. Ciccarelli Law Offices knows that you never intended to end someone’s life. We will do everything we can to achieve the best possible outcome for your situation.
The risk of going about this alone outweighs the cost of hiring a defense attorney. Having an experienced defense attorney can be the difference between going to prison and going home. Take the first step in building your defense today. Contact Ciccarelli Law Offices.
We will listen to your story and find the best legal options available for your situation. To schedule a free case consultation with Ciccarelli Law Offices, call us or submit your information in the online contact form.
We defend clients in counties that include Chester County, Lancaster County, Delaware County, Philadelphia County and Montgomery County.
- Definition of Drug Delivery Resulting in Death
- When Could you be Charged with DDRD?
- Possession with Intent to Deliver
- Additional Resources
Definition of Drug Delivery Resulting in Death
There has been a lot of effort to combat the growing overdose crisis in our county. At the base of this is the Pennsylvania court system. The state can charge you with drug delivery resulting in death if you provide drugs to someone who overdoses and dies.
This crime is defined under section 2506 of the Pennsylvania Statute as:
- Intentionally administering, dispensing, delivering, giving, prescribing, selling or distributing any controlled substance or counterfeit controlled substance and another person dies as a result of using the substance.
Drug delivery resulting in death is a form of homicide that is similar to third-degree murder. The law was amended in 2006 to target drug dealers, but prosecutors use it to target drug users as well. Prosecutors might use this statute to bring charges against you if you shared an illegal drug with your friend that resulted in death.
Drug delivery resulting in death is listed under the chapter of the PS that governs criminal homicide. It doesn’t matter if you intended for a person to die, you will still be found guilty if you sold or prescribed the drug and the person died.
If you are convicted, you could be charged with a first-degree felony. The charge is penalized by a mandatory minimum sentence of five years behind bars, but you could spend up to 40 years in prison. You will also be required to pay a fine that can cost up to $25,000.
When Could you be Charged with DDRD?
According to a study from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, nearly 92 million adults in the United States have been legally prescribed opioids such as Percocet and OxyContin. These drugs are incredibly addictive and can lead to death if they are not properly used. The study found that almost 2 million of the surveyed Americans reported being addicted to their prescription drugs. These results indicate that medical professionals are not doing their job to prescribe prescription painkillers appropriately.
It’s a common misconception that drug dealers are the only people targeted by this law. In July 2018, a doctor in Pike County, PA was found guilty of unlawfully prescribing opioids to patients, including a woman who died as a result of using her prescription. Another doctor in Jeannette, PA was also charged after two of his patients died as a result of being over-prescribed opioids and other drugs.
Pennsylvania has seen a 1,267% increase in charges for drug delivery resulting in death. In fact, Lancaster and Montgomery County are among the states top 11 counties with the highest percentage of convictions. Whether you are a street dealer or physician, you will need an attorney experienced in defending drug delivery resulting in death on your side.
Possession with Intent to Deliver
For prosecutors to charge you with drug delivery resulting in death, they must first prove that you committed possession with intent to deliver. Under the PS, it is illegal to sell, deliver or possess any controlled substance or drug.
How you are charged for the crime depends on the schedule of the drug and how much was found in your possession. Listed below are some of the most common drugs in each drug schedule:
- Schedule I: Heroin, LSD, marijuana, MDMA and peyote
- Schedule II: Cocaine, Demerol, fentanyl, Oxycontin, methadone, Percocet, Ritalin and Adderall.
- Schedule III: Codeine, hydrocodone and anabolic steroids
- Schedule IV: Ambien, Valium, Ativan and Xanax
- Schedule V: Any drug with small amounts or opium or codeine
Since it must be proven that you are guilty of possession with intent to deliver, you will face charges for the crime in addition to drug delivery resulting in death. Depending on the schedule of the drug, you could face the following charges:
- Schedule II or II Narcotic: Felony charge that is sentenced by no more than 15 years behind bars, a fine that can cost up to $250,000 or a combination of both.
- Other Schedule I, II or II: Felony charge that is sentenced by no more than five years of imprisonment, a fine that can cost up to $15,000 or both.
- Schedule IV: Felony charge that is sentenced by no more than three years of imprisonment, a fine that can cost up to $10,000 or both
- Schedule V: Misdemeanor charged that is sentenced by no more than one year behind bars, a fine that can cost up to $5,000 or both.
Additional Resources for Drug Delivery Resulting in Death
Drug Delivery Resulting in Death | Pennsylvania Statutes – Follow this link to read the full text of the section that governs drug delivery resulting in death. You can read the precise legal definition of the crime, forfeiture of assets and penalties. The statute can be read on the Pennsylvania General Assembly website.
Schedules of Controlled Substance | Pennsylvania Code – Visit the Pennsylvania Code website to view a complete list of controlled substances and which schedule they are classified under. You can also find out how the state determines where a falls on the schedule.
Chester County, PA Lawyer for Drug Delivery Resulting in Death
By viewing this page, you already understand the seriousness of the charges against you. You will need an attorney who is experienced with drug crimes in PA and is will to do everything they can to achieve the best possible results.
Let Ciccarelli Law Offices guide you through this complicated legal process. Schedule a free case consultation today. Call (610) 692-8700 or submit your information in the online contact form. We represent clients in areas such as West Chester, Pottstown, Lititz, Downingtown, Coatesville and many more.