When a person overdoses on drugs who is to blame – that individual for taking the drugs, or the person who supplied them?
This isn’t just a hypothetical. Recently, a Ham Lake man was charged with third-degree murder for allegedly supplying the drugs that a woman used in a fatal overdose.
According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the 22-year-old man delivered a mix of heroin and methamphetamine to a 28-year-old woman. Text messages between the two seem to indicate that the man knew the mix of drugs he was delivering were dangerous.
The woman took the drugs and died of an overdose.
The man will appear in Anoka County Court on Feb. 11. His bail has been set at $500,000 without conditions or $300,00 with the condition of release. If he is convicted of third-degree murder, he could spend as many as 15 years in prison.
Now, if the man did sell this woman drugs, he broke the law. However, the question of whether he contributed to her death is another matter. In addition to being a question of our societal view of responsibility, philosophy and ethics, it matters to this individual man because the punishment for third-degree murder is greater than that for simply selling drugs.
Questions like this are one that, as a Minneapolis criminal defense lawyer, I seek to answer. My job is to assess the facts and circumstances of a given situation and then help my client make his or her best argument in pursuit of the administration of justice.
If you think you need to talk to an attorney in the Twin Cities who helps those accuse of a crime, please know that you can contact me.