Dealing with charges of homicide in connection with a drug overdose case can be an overwhelming and traumatic experience. Because of our nation’s growing opioid crisis, drug crime convictions and harsh consequences tend to go hand-hand. But our attorney knows how to illuminate the truth and safeguard your rights. We understand the fear you may be feeling, and we want you to know that you are not alone.
Our experienced criminal defense attorney is a former prosecutor, so we're deeply familiar with the devastating influence of the opioid and fentanyl epidemic. In this article, our objective is to shed light on the growing crisis in Colorado and the legal repercussions faced by anyone involved in drug distribution, including companies, doctors, and dealers/providers.
If you’re seeking defense representation, please contact us as soon as possible. Our firm—The Leier Law Office LLC—is located in Fort Collins and accepts clients throughout Loveland, Greeley, Winsor, Evans, and the surrounding areas.
The Opioid Epidemic: An Introduction
The term "opioid epidemic" is the extensive misuse and addiction to prescription painkillers, heroin, and synthetic opioids like fentanyl. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have reported over 70,000 opioid-related overdose deaths in the United States in recent years, a crisis with devastating effects on individuals, families, and communities across the country.
The Opioid and Fentanyl Problem in Colorado
We have seen Colorado wrestling with a shocking surge in fentanyl overdoses. This synthetic opioid is 50 to 100 times more potent than heroin or morphine and has infiltrated our local communities, causing an extraordinary increase in accidental overdoses and deaths.
Like with any crisis, misinformation and deceit are significant contributors to the chaos. Fentanyl is often mixed with other substances or misrepresented under different names which, tragically, results in individuals unintentionally consuming lethal doses.
Fentanyl is now leading the cause of death among adults aged 18 to 45 in the U.S., and the problem is only intensifying.
Charges for Drug Dealers/Providers
Dealers and providers of opioids are on the front lines of this battle. Law enforcement agencies are employing increasingly sophisticated techniques to track down and prosecute those involved in the illegal drug trade. Penalties for drug trafficking can be severe, ranging from lengthy prison sentences to substantial fines and asset forfeitures.
Under Colorado law, the distribution, manufacturing, or possession with intent to distribute a Schedule I or II substance (which includes opioids) can constitute a Class 3 felony charge. This charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of four years in prison, with the potential of up to twelve years, along with substantial fines.
Moreover, if the offense involves selling or distributing to a minor, or if it occurs within 1,000 feet of a school or public housing, the penalties are even more severe. These could escalate to a Class 2 felony, with a mandatory minimum sentence of eight years and a maximum penalty of 24 years in prison.
These stringent laws reflect the state's commitment to keeping drug crimes under control. While the law has the best intentions, we don't want to see defendants penalized beyond reason. Our mission is the same as yours: to secure justice. If you or someone you know is confronted with severe drug charges, turn to us at The Leier Law Office LLC.
Charges Against Drug Distribution Companies
As the epidemic deepens, law enforcement agencies aren’t just targeting individual users or small-scale dealers. They’re turning their attention to the bigger players in the drug distribution network. Major drug distribution companies are now facing serious charges for their alleged role in the opioid epidemic.
These companies are accused of fueling the opioid crisis by aggressively marketing these drugs while downplaying their addictive qualities. They're also alleged to have turned a blind eye to suspiciously large orders, thereby facilitating the black market for opioids.
If found guilty, these companies can face massive fines and severe reputational damage.
Charges for Doctors
Doctors too are under increasing scrutiny. In a trailblazing case, one doctor in California received a sentence of 30 years to life in prison for three patients' drug overdose deaths. This was the first instance of a physician being criminally responsible for patients' deaths due to careless opioid prescribing.
Even though this case may seem like a rarity, it sends a stark warning to physicians about possible criminal liability following the misuse of opioid prescriptions by their patients. Doctors found guilty of such practices can face severe penalties, including:
loss of medical license(s),
hefty fines, and
Knowledgeable and Determined Legal Representation
Bear in mind—the stakes in drug cases are high, but having a seasoned criminal defense attorney on your side can significantly tip the scales. With a unique mixture of prosecution and defense experience, our attorney enlists an assertive, strategic approach when fighting for the fair result you deserve.
If you or a loved one is facing drug-induced homicide charges, don't hesitate to call us for help. The Leier Law Office LLC is located in Fort Collins, Colorado, and serves people throughout the communities of Loveland, Greeley, Winsor, and Evans.