Seminole Prosecutors Pressing For Murder Charges In Overdose Deaths
The opioid epidemic has hit hard in Seminole and the surrounding areas. As a result, heroin use is on the rise and there has been an alarming increase in the number of overdose deaths, both locally and throughout the state. Seminole prosecutors have made headlines for pressing criminal charges in these cases, not only against drug suppliers but anyone who may have been with the victim at the time the overdose death occurred.
Local Man Faces Charges For Friend’s Heroin Overdose
Prosecuting attorneys in Seminole are attracting attention across the state due to the frequency in which they are charging people who are in any way associated with heroin deaths. According to a November 24, 2020 Orlando Sentinel news report, a local man is the latest to face murder charges after buying the drug and sharing it with a friend, who later died.
According to authorities, the 27-year-old man made plans with a 19-year-old female friend to secure heroin and use it together. After the man purchased the drug in a local grocery store parking lot, the young woman went to his house to share it with him. Unfortunately, it was laced with the potent synthetic opioid fentanyl, which caused the woman to overdose. The man waited several hours but eventually took her to a local hospital. Unfortunately, it was too late and she did not survive.
Following a recent trend among local prosecutors, the man is now facing a first-degree murder charge. If convicted, penalties include a mandatory lifetime prison sentence and the possibility of the death penalty.
Criminal Charges In Opioid Deaths Increasingly Common
The above case is one of several filed in Seminole County over the past year, in which the friend of someone who overdoses faces criminal murder charges. The fact that these deaths have become increasingly common is fueling the desire to hold someone accountable.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 750,000 people have died as a result of opioid-related overdoses over the past decade. While some of these involve legally obtained prescription drugs, many involve the illegal use of heroin. Rather than just going after potential suppliers, prosecutors are now charging anyone associated with the incident or at the scene of an overdose in an effort to stem the number of overdose deaths.
Unfortunately, many people claim that not only will this tactic not work, it is likely to make dangerous delays in seeking treatment more common. As in the above case, friends of overdose victims may delay notifying authorities or taking the victim to the hospital due to the fear of being charged with a crime.
Reach Out to Us Today for Help
Doing the right thing and taking a friend to get help could leave you facing serious criminal charges, even if you had nothing to do with their drug use or an overdose. To protect yourself against the actions of prosecutors and the penalties involved, get Reep Coleman & Stubbendorff on your side. Call or contact our Seminole criminal attorney online and request a consultation today.