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New Jersey prosecutors have no pity for anyone with a drug charge

The average New Jersey citizen has no sympathy for drug dealers or their clients. This lack of sympathy also seems to extend to the prosecutors in court. In an attempt to reduce the high rate of deaths related to drug overdoses, a drug dealer may be facing more than a drug charge if one of his clients dies from an overdose in fact the dealer may be held responsible for the death.

In January 2013, a 27-year-old man died after a drug overdose. The man died after injecting himself with a deadly dose of heroin. During the investigation, authorities found evidence on the deceased's cellphone that lead them to the dealer who had supplied the heroin earlier that day. He had already been the subject of a police investigation in drug-related crimes.

The dealer was arrested recently and pleaded guilty to charges of manslaughter. He received a prison sentence of more than seven years, with no possibility of early release. In addition, he was sentenced to four years for the possession of heroin, to run concurrently with the manslaughter sentence. The mother of the deceased reportedly said that while she realized that the dealer did not force her son to inject himself with heroin, she was glad that he had pleaded guilty and was off the streets. Prosecutors in New Jersey believe that sentences like this one may encourage the friends and family of victims to divulge dealer identities to authorities.

While every citizen who faces charges in a court of law is innocent until proven guilty, the public seems to exclude people facing drug charges from that privilege. Facing any drug-related charge can potentially destroy one's future. Conviction may lead to a lengthy jail sentence and a permanent criminal record. In New Jersey, a drug charge is a serious offense and defendants may want to seek the services of someone who can help protect their interests and thereby insure the best possible outcome.

Source: kcra.com, N.J. uses harsh charges in overdose deaths, Lorenzo Ferrigno, March 11, 2014

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