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Murder Charges After a Fentanyl Overdose

 Posted on May 15, 2024 in Criminal Defense

TX defense lawyerDrug overdoses are a sadly common cause of death among young adults. Part of the problem is that many drugs sold on the street today contain fentanyl, an extremely powerful opioid. A person’s chances of fatally overdosing are much higher if the drug they use turns out to be laced with fentanyl. As of September 2023, Texas law specifically allows drug distributors (dealers) or even people who share a drug with their friends to be prosecuted for murder if a fentanyl-laced drug they supplied causes a death. Texas homicide laws are also sometimes used to prosecute others who provide a drug to another person who then overdoses and dies. If you have been charged with a drug-related homicide, you need a skilled Frisco, TX homicide attorney immediately.

Fentanyl Murder as a Criminal Charge

Fentanyl murder is now its own criminal offense in Texas. This law was enacted to combat the number of deaths caused by street drugs the user did not know were laced with fentanyl. Drug addicts often know their limits but cannot account for the presence of fentanyl.

To prove this offense, the state must first show that you sold, gave, or otherwise provided the person who died with the drugs. Proving this can be difficult, as people who use hard drugs may routinely buy drugs from several different dealers or share drugs with a small group of friends. Additionally, fentanyl toxicity or fentanyl poisoning must be the victim’s official cause of death.

This offense carries heavy penalties for those convicted. You could face between 10 and 99 years in prison - which means that you could spend the rest of your life in prison.

Defending a Fentanyl Murder Charge

There are several defense strategies that may help your lawyer defend you. One option is to show that the state cannot prove you are the one who provided the deceased with the specific drugs that killed him or her.

Another possible strategy is to show that you had no intent to distribute fentanyl. Showing that you could not reasonably have known that the drugs were laced with fentanyl may help. This defense is more likely to succeed if the drug in question is not one that one might expect could be contaminated with fentanyl - so you are more likely to be able to show a lack of intent if you sold cannabis as opposed to heroin.

A third possible strategy is to show that the drugs you provided cannot be proven to be the cause of death. For example, if the victim had taken multiple types of drugs at once and you only provided one of them, the state might not be able to show that the drugs you provided were the drugs that caused the victim’s death.

Contact a Frisco, TX Fentanyl Murder Defense Lawyer 

Law Offices of Biederman & Burleson P.L.L.C. is committed to providing the best criminal defense services available. Our dedicated team of Collin County, TX fentanyl murder attorneys will work to present the defense most likely to succeed in your case. We have over 25 years of combined experience. Contact us at 469-333-3333 for a complimentary consultation.

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