Hamblen County Medical Examiner Tom Thompson reported that last year the number one cause of death for individuals under the age of 65 was overdose. Officials had hoped that the high volume of overdose deaths seen last year would even out and not carry over to this year. They were wrong. From January until September of this year, 2012, Hamblen County has seen 42 suspected/confirmed overdose deaths. It was also reported that all of the overdose deaths seen in recent years have come as a result of prescription drug abuse, with several reports showing multiple drugs and alcohol as the cause of several of the deaths.
As overdose deaths increase as a result of prescription drug abuse, crime increases as well. What most people don't know is if someone dies as a result of an overdose, the person who provided them with the drugs may be charged with a crime. In fact, those supplying prescription drugs resulting in a death can face a charge of second degree murder. Second Degree murder is a Class A Felony. But what if it was an accident? You can still be charged. Tennessee Code Annotated defines second degree murder as (1) a knowing killing or another;
OR (2) a killing of another that results from the unlawful distribution of a
Schedule I or
Schedule II drug, when the drug is the proximate cause of the death of the user.
Plain and simple if you give someone a Schedule I or Schedule II drug and you are not a licensed pharmacist, you could be exposing yourself to harsh criminal liability if something goes wrong. Your intentions will not likely matter. It also may not matter if the person you gave the drug to had taken other drugs. Unfortunately, you can still be charged with Second Degree Murder.
If you have been accused of supplying someone with prescription drugs or believe you are the subject of a prescription drug investigation, it is important that you protect your rights. The best way to protect your rights is to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. For more information about this topic and others, or to discuss the facts of your specific drug charge, please feel free to contact The Law Office of Troy L. Bowlin, II at your earliest convenience.