Pennsylvania Law Regarding Drug Delivery in Death
Western Pennsylvania currently has one of the highest rates of heroin overdoses in the entire United States. Because of this, while there is much talk of dealing with substance abuse and addiction through our public health systems, in fact, the criminal justice system continues to bear the majority of the response to drug overdoses. In fact, according to an online article published in The Sentinel in 2017, in Cumberland County alone, the number of those charged with possession of illegal drugs has almost doubled since 2013. One tool used by law enforcement, faced with rising drug overdoses, is to treat such cases as homicides.
In the state of Pennsylvania, a person can be charged with Drug Delivery Resulting in Death—a homicide—which carries a prison sentence of up to 40 years. Drug Delivery Resulting in Death means one person provided drugs to another, and the person receiving the drugs overdosed and died.
Facing Drug Delivery Death Charges in Pennsylvania
Learn about what drug delivery death is in Pennsylvania and what to do if you or a loved one is facing accusations or criminal homicide charges. Facing drug delivery death charges is a pivotable moment in a person’s life. Is it the time to reach out to an inexperienced criminal attorney or a former prosecutor who touts his convictions but lacks experience gaining murder acquittals? Before it’s too late, call our team. Facing drug delivery death charges anywhere in Pennsylvania and need help, call the Ciccarelli Legal Team at (610) 692-8700.
Getting the Best Defense where you are facing Drug Delivery Death Charges
Reach out to the Ciccarelli Legal Team, when you are facing a drug delivery death in the greater Philadelphia metro area, including Chester County, Bucks County, Delaware County, Lancaster County, Montgomery County and throughout Pennsylvania. Then ask yourself, why you are not calling now and scheduling a time to meet with Lee Ciccarelli. Call now at (610) 692-8700.
Our team of lawyers at Ciccarelli Law Offices is ready to fight for you. When the threat of prosecution for homicide and murder is real, you need to look for the best options and find a top murder defense team serving Chester County and beyond. Based in West Chester (Chester County) in the Philadelphia Metro Area, the Ciccarelli Legal Team defends the rights of murder and homicide defendants throughout Pennsylvania.
Number of People Charged with Drug Delivery in Death in the State of Pennsylvania Skyrockets
In 2016, there were 77 people charged with drug delivery in death, in 2017 there were 205 and since 2013, almost half of all homicides in Cumberland County were for Drug Delivery Resulting in Death. Pennsylvania has had this drug delivery in death law on the books since 1989, however significant changes have been made to the law since that time, largely due to constitutional challenges. In truth, the law was rarely used until the past few years. In 2017, more cases of Drug Delivery Resulting in Death were filed in Franklin County than in the prior eight years together. Since this law is now being implemented fairly frequently, jail populations in the state of Pennsylvania have surged.
Grand Jury Used to Address Fatal Drug Overdoses
The York Daily Record notes that an investigating grand jury was recently used in the state of Pennsylvania to help address fatal drug overdoses—the first time one has been used in the community in more than two decades. It can be difficult to prove who provided drugs for a person who later overdosed, and some say that family members and friends of the deceased are being targeted as often as drug dealers.
Some Pennsylvania counties are more focused on investigating the source of the drugs which led to a fatal overdose, while others may focus on the immediate provider. Because the Drug Delivery Resulting in Death law is being utilized much more often than in the past, detectives are now treating every fatal drug overdose as a potential homicide. In other words, if the prosecution can prove who sold the lethal drug dose, Drug Delivery Resulting in Death will be charged. These investigations take time and can be quite intense.
The Drug Policy Alliance is not in favor of the increase in homicide charges when the death was the result of an overdose, and, in fact, the agency supports the decriminalization of drug use and possession under the belief that harsher legal penalties discourages people from seeking help for an addiction. In the state of Pennsylvania, York County has led the state in the use of the Drug Delivery Resulting in Death law.
What You Need to Know About Pennsylvania Drug Delivery in Death Laws
If you have given prescription or non-prescription drugs to another human being, who subsequently dies as a result of those drugs, you could face extremely serious penalties. The drug delivery resulting in death statute is found in Title 18 Section 2506 and is a first-degree felony. Under the statute, any person who intentionally “administers, dispenses, delivers, gives, prescribes, sells or distributes any controlled substance or counterfeit controlled substance” and another person dies as a result, drug delivery in death could be charged. To prove the charges of Drug Delivery Resulting in Death, the Commonwealth must first establish that you committed a Possession With Intent to Deliver offense. Most of the time, the most compelling evidence which results in charges of Drug Delivery Resulting in Death is the person’s own admission. If you are being investigated for this offense, do not talk to the police, rather ask to speak to an attorney immediately.
Your home or your car could potentially be searched in an effort to reveal drugs which match the drugs which resulted in a fatal overdose. If the police have no search warrant for your home or car and ask you whether you consent to such a search, always say “no,” then contact an experienced Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney immediately. Even if you think you might be charged with Drug Delivery Resulting in Death, take a proactive stance and contact an attorney. This will ensure that you do not inadvertently say or do anything which can later be used against you in court in an attempt to convict you and send you to prison.
Get The “Right Defense” When facing Pennsylvania Drug Delivery Death Charges
When you or a loved one is facing drug delivery death allegations or charges, gain the benefit and experience of the Ciccarelli Legal Team. We bring years of experience defending clients, demanding justice and fighting for acquittals. Our team is ready to represent you when you are facing homicide and murder charges in Pennsylvania. We are based in based in suburban Philadelphia and serve clients throughout Pennsylvania. Contact us at (610) 692-8700.