We’ve been discussing the issue of federal fatal drug overdose charges, particularly the importance of working with an experienced attorney to scrutinize whether the elements of drug charges are fully supported by the evidence.
Another important issue to explore in cases where drug overdose specifically causes serious bodily injury is whether the injury qualifies as “serious.” According to the FBI, the term means that there is a “substantial risk of death; protracted and obvious disfigurement; or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ or mental faculty.” In cases where the victim suffers for an extended period of time but does not die, the issue can sometimes be arguable, so it is important to look at that with a defense attorney.
The final issue we’d like to mention pertains to the second element of the crime, which is that the drugs which killed or caused serious bodily injury to the victim came from the defendant. To prove this element, federal investigators usually try to look at any communications which occurred between the victim and the defendant, as well as any available witnesses. In some cases, investigators used cooperating witnesses or conduct undercover investigations. Regardless of what evidence prosecutors try to push in these cases, it is critical for defendants to hold them to their full burden of proving that it was their drugs that harmed the victim. Working with an experienced attorney is critical in this effort.
Fatal overdose charges are, as can be seen, very serious and those who face them should always work with an experienced attorney to ensure that their rights are protected throughout the criminal process. Our firm is committed to ensuring that federal drug defendants receive the best advocacy possible in their case.