Under Illinois law, you can be charged with drug-induced homicide if you illegally delivered a controlled substance to someone who’s death was then caused by that substance. See 720 ILCS 5/9-3.3.
But what if someone else was also responsible for the death, such as a victim or another party? What if the drugs you supplied contributed to the victim’s death but were not the only reason the victim died. Is that a defense?
Unfortunately, to convict you, the state need only show that the drugs you provided were a contributing cause of the death. For example, in People v. Nere , the defendant sold heroin to the victim who died shortly thereafter. A medical expert determined that the victim had died from an overdose of both heroin and cocaine. Because defendant’s heroin had contributed to the death, the defendant was still convicted of drug-induced homicide.
If you are charged with drug-induced homicide, contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case for its best possible defense. As with most offenses, the state must prove all the elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Can the state prove that you “delivered” the drugs or that your drugs caused the victim’s death in any way? Did you deliver the drugs unlawfully? What if you and the victim equally possessed the drugs? Even if the state has the evidence needed to convict you, an attorney who is respected in the courthouse may be able to negotiate a more favorable plea agreement than you could on your own.
If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)