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Criminal Charges in Drug Cases May Include Drug-Induced Homicide

Posted on in Drugs and Narcotics

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois drug crimes lawyerThe abuse of heroin and opioids has become a major health crisis in the Chicago area; more than 1,000 people died of drug overdoses in Cook County in 2016, which was a significant increase over the 693 drug overdose deaths in 2015. Law enforcement officials are working to combat this epidemic, and some advocates have encouraged them to charge drug dealers with drug-induced homicide in addition to standard drug charges.

Drug-Induced Homicide in Illinois

In Illinois, a person can be charged with drug-induced homicide if they provided illegal drugs to someone and the use of those drugs resulted in that person’s death. Drug-induced homicide is a Class X felony, and it is punishable by 15 to 30 years in prison.

While Chicago has seen increasing numbers of deaths from drug overdoses, charges of drug-induced homicide are still relatively rare in Cook County. However, the counties surrounding the Chicago area have seen a rise in these types of cases. Between 2013 and 2016, there were 17 cases in Lake County, 15 cases in Will County, 14 cases in DuPage County, eight cases in McHenry County, and five cases in Kane County. During this period, only five drug-induced homicide cases were prosecuted in Cook County.

Criticism of Homicide Charges

Many of the family members of drug overdose victims have pushed for the pursuit of drug-induced homicide charges in hopes of receiving justice for the death of their loved ones. However, other advocacy groups do not believe these charges are an effective tool, claiming that instead of punishing high-level drug dealers, they are more likely to affect victims’ friends or family members and other drug abusers. In 2016, the Drug Policy Alliance released a report which found that in states with drug-induced homicide laws, there was no evidence that the threat of homicide charges reduced drug overdose deaths or resulted in fewer sales of illegal drugs.

As an alternative method of combating drug abuse, the City of Chicago is working to provide treatment for people suffering from drug addiction. In July 2017, the city invested $700,000 in drug treatment programs through community organizations which provide medication, counseling, and assistance to city residents.

Effective Legal Representation in Drug Cases

At Luisi Legal Group, we understand the devastating effects that drugs can have on people’s lives, and we provide compassionate legal representation in drug crime cases. if you have been arrested on any charges related to drug possession or distribution, we can review your case and advise you of your options, which may include negotiating an agreement to receive treatment or arguing to have the charges dismissed. Contact an experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney at 773-276-5541 to schedule a free consultation today.

 

Sources:

http://wgntv.com/2017/07/11/drug-induced-homicide-law/

https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20170720/beverly/opiod-related-deaths-treatment-funding-overdoses-heroin-chicago-recovery-alliance-cook-county-jail

 

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