What Is Drug-Induced Homicide?
The upsurge in heroin use in the Twin Cities region in recent years has led to numerous overdose deaths, usually of young people. Prosecutors have sought to strengthen their hand by using a 1987 law punishing dealers and others who provide the heroin that is the cause of death.
This third-degree murder charge is called drug-induced homicide and carries a punishment of 25 years in prison. Some people call it the “Len Bias Law,” after the Wisconsin athlete who died in 1986 from a cocaine overdose.
Federal prosecutors have long used drug-induced homicide to increase punishments, leverage plea agreements and obtain information about larger dealers in the delivery chain. States like Minnesota are just catching up.
While the intent of the law is to punish dealers and other parties in the delivery chain, others may also be targeted — friends or associates who obtained or shared the drug with the deceased. The law sends the politically popular message that drug fatalities are unacceptable and that someone will be held to account in an overdose case.
The statute applies to anyone in the supply chain leading to a death. If you are charged with drug-induced homicide, you must immediately seek criminal defense counsel experienced in both serious drug cases and homicide cases.
Defending Against Drug-Induced Death Charges
At Rivers Law Firm, P.A., we understand that you are likely to be in shock because of these charges. Nevertheless, it is important to get a jump start on building your defense.
If you are arrested at night, call us that night. We know criminal charges don’t always come down during regular office hours.
Criminal defense attorney Bruce Rivers is one of a handful of Minnesota lawyers certified in criminal defense. He knows the courts and prosecutors. He knows the law on paper and he knows how it has played out in every case relevant to yours.
If there is a possible positive outcome for your drug crime case, Bruce Rivers will identify it early and argue effectively for acquittal, reduction in charges or minimum punishment.