In an effort to reduce overdose deaths and near deaths, Ventura County is trying a new approach to prosecuting people who supply drugs that lead to overdose deaths in other individuals with drug crimes. A person who supplies a controlled substance that leads to an overdose or the death of another individual can face involuntary manslaughter charges with a special enhancement of causing great bodily injury.
A conviction on the charges could result in a state prison sentence of up to 8 years. Without the enhancement, the maximum sentence on an involuntary manslaughter conviction would be four years, which a defendant can serve in a local jail, rather than in a state prison.
Ventura Drug Crimes Attorney
Ventura County has already filed charges with enhancements against at least four people this year. One of the four cases has already been presented in trial court and resulted in a conviction. By itself, this is the best reason to contact an experienced drug crimes attorney if you have been arrested or accused of supplying drugs that caused the death of a person.
To date, there have been about a half-dozen overdose deaths in the county in 2016. In comparison, in 2015, 27 people died from drug overdoses in Ventura County. The majority of the deaths were connected to heroin, synthetic opiods and/or methamphetamine.
Being able to prove that someone overdosed is forensically easy, but connecting a specific drug dealer to drugs that resulted an overdose can be much more difficult. As a result, police officers who are called to the scene of an overdose now treat the location as a crime scene, and investigate the overdose as they would investigate a murder or attempted murder.
The tactic is too new to know whether it will have a significant impact on drug sales or overdose deaths in Ventura County. If you’ve been arrested in Ventura for supplying drugs that caused the death of another person, do not wait and do not attempt to defend yourself. Instead, contact Robert Helfend, an experienced drug crimes lawyer in Ventura County for assistance.
Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County drug crimes case.
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