Most of us are aware that selling illicit substances is illegal in the state. However, many people are unaware that drug dealers may face various drug charges and even a felony charge for murder if the person they sold the drugs to overdosed on the drugs they received from the dealer.
An alleged drug dealer was recently charged with felony murder, as well as drug trafficking and violating the Georgia Controlled Substances Act, after a 22-year-old man he sold heroin to overdosed and died. The deceased apparently overdosed on heroin that was laced with opioid fentanyl.
The idea of charge drug dealers with murder for overdose deaths is to hold someone accountable for the thousands of opioid overdoses that occur every year, and deter people from distributing drugs in the future. But, many defense attorneys defend their clients against felony murder charges by saying that drug dealers do not have the requisite intent to kill. Also, defense attorneys may say that it can be difficult to prove that the drugs sold by the drug dealer caused the person's death. The deceased person may have multiple drugs in their system, so it may not be evident which specific drugs were responsible for the death.
Prosecutors can charge drug dealers with various crimes in the state. These charges will depend on a number of factors such as quantity of the drug, type of substance sold, whether the dealer sold to children and whether someone overdosed and died due to the drugs sold.