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Who Is to Blame For Death By Drug Overdose in Illinois?

 Posted on August 08, 2019 in Drug Crimes

Plainfield, IL drug charges defense lawyer

Illegal drug possession and use have climbed rapidly throughout the United States in recent years. The use of opioids has become more prevalent, and these drugs were responsible for 68 percent of fatal overdoses in 2017. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, approximately 47,600 people died in 2017 due to an opioid drug overdose. It is important to understand Illinois laws regarding the possession of illegal drugs in the event you are faced with such charges, even if you were simply a witness to an overdose and called for help. 

Who Is to Blame For Overdose Deaths?

In Illinois, a person who sold the drugs that led to a fatal overdose can be prosecuted for drug-induced homicide. However, Illinois is also one of 40 states in the United States that upholds the Good Samaritan Law, which protects both the victim of the overdose and the person who calls the police for help from facing charges.

The Good Samaritan Law was established to encourage people to call the police for help if they see someone who is overdosing on drugs. In many cases, people hesitate because they do not want to get into trouble, but this law ensures the callers will not be charged unless:

  • They are in possession of more than three grams of heroin.

  • They are in possession of more than three grams of morphine.

  • They are in possession of more than 40 grams of prescription opioids.

  • They are in possession of other illegal drugs of various amounts.

If the above circumstances apply, the person(s) in possession of the drugs will face felony charges.

What Are the Punishments for Drug Possession?

The state of Illinois has specific rules and punishments depending on the type of drug and the amount of the drug that is found in an offender’s possession. Possession of cocaine, heroin, morphine, methamphetamines, and LSD is a felony charge, regardless of the amount of drugs found. The punishments increase in severity when more drugs are found:

  • 15-100 grams: fines of up to $200,000 and a prison term of 4-15 years.

  • 100-400 grams: fines of up to $200,000 and a prison term of 6-30 years.

  • 400-900 grams: fines of up to $200,000 and a prison term of 8-40 years.

  • Over 900 grams: fines of up to $200,000 and a prison term of 10-50 years.

If a person is caught selling these drugs, he or she will face even more fines--up to $500,000-- and a prison term of up to 60 years, depending on the amount sold.

Contact a Joliet, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

Under certain circumstances, the Good Samaritan Law can protect those individuals who may be in possession of drugs, but if a fatality occurs from an overdose, a police investigation could lead to serious criminal charges and penalties. If you are facing drug possession charges, hire a lawyer from the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton P.C. to make sure your rights are not compromised during an investigation. To schedule a free consultation with a Will County drug charge defense lawyer, call 815-666-1285 today.



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