Can Your Los Angeles Drug Charge Turn Into a Murder Charge?

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Certain individuals facing drug charges in Los Angeles County could, indeed, find themselves facing murder charges if it is alleged they sold drugs laced with fentanyl. There is a national push to file murder charges when these sales lead to deaths.

There have, in fact, been cases filed in California already. They’re mainly being brought by prosecutors in Orange and Riverside counties, but our law office would not be surprised to see similar cases brought in Los Angeles County. 

Who is in danger of having drug trafficking charges upgraded to murder charges?

The push is aimed primarily at 2nd offenders who have already been warned about the dangers of selling pills laced with fentanyl. Fentanyl is about 100 times more potent than morphine and can certainly kill when people are unaware that it’s present in a drug they are taking. 

Is there a legal basis for charging drug dealers with murder?

Prosecutors certainly think so. 

In the State of California you can be charged with felony murder if, in the course of committing a felony, you act with “reckless indifference to human life.” 

You can also be charged with felony murder if prosecutors can prove you intended to kill, or if a police officer is killed during the line of duty. You cannot generally be charged with it if you cause an accidental or unintentional death in the course of committing a felony.

Any murder in California is a first degree murder when it is premeditated or deliberate, or is willfully committed. It’s also first degree murder if someone dies while you’re torturing them, or because you used explosives or weapons of mass destruction. Murder committed in conjunction with kidnapping, robbery, carjacking, rape, arson, lewd acts with a minor or train wrecking are all first degree murders. 

There’s an obvious defense here: that there was no intent to kill. And defense lawyers are certainly working to get this additional set of charges seen as a prosecutorial overreach. That does not mean prosecutors can’t be successful at tacking on murder charges.

It doesn’t take a murder charge to turn a 2nd offense drug charge into a serious matter.

Even a first drug trafficking offense can land you 5 years to life in prison and fines of up to $20 million. A second offense will be even worse.

If you’re being charged with a drug crime, don’t wait for prosecutors to make it worse. Reach out to our experienced criminal defense team today. We’ll work hard to ensure your legal problems don’t get any worse than they already are. 

See also:

How to Exercise Your 5th Amendment Rights After a Los Angeles Arrest

Do You Have to Provide DNA When Under Arrest in Los Angeles?

How Does Bail Work in Los Angeles?

Can Your Los Angeles Drug Charge Turn Into a Murder Charge?

inne-rpage-seperator

Certain individuals facing drug charges in Los Angeles County could, indeed, find themselves facing murder charges if it is alleged they sold drugs laced with fentanyl. There is a national push to file murder charges when these sales lead to deaths.

There have, in fact, been cases filed in California already. They’re mainly being brought by prosecutors in Orange and Riverside counties, but our law office would not be surprised to see similar cases brought in Los Angeles County. 

Who is in danger of having drug trafficking charges upgraded to murder charges?

The push is aimed primarily at 2nd offenders who have already been warned about the dangers of selling pills laced with fentanyl. Fentanyl is about 100 times more potent than morphine and can certainly kill when people are unaware that it’s present in a drug they are taking. 

Is there a legal basis for charging drug dealers with murder?

Prosecutors certainly think so. 

In the State of California you can be charged with felony murder if, in the course of committing a felony, you act with “reckless indifference to human life.” 

You can also be charged with felony murder if prosecutors can prove you intended to kill, or if a police officer is killed during the line of duty. You cannot generally be charged with it if you cause an accidental or unintentional death in the course of committing a felony.

Any murder in California is a first degree murder when it is premeditated or deliberate, or is willfully committed. It’s also first degree murder if someone dies while you’re torturing them, or because you used explosives or weapons of mass destruction. Murder committed in conjunction with kidnapping, robbery, carjacking, rape, arson, lewd acts with a minor or train wrecking are all first degree murders. 

There’s an obvious defense here: that there was no intent to kill. And defense lawyers are certainly working to get this additional set of charges seen as a prosecutorial overreach. That does not mean prosecutors can’t be successful at tacking on murder charges.

It doesn’t take a murder charge to turn a 2nd offense drug charge into a serious matter.

Even a first drug trafficking offense can land you 5 years to life in prison and fines of up to $20 million. A second offense will be even worse.

If you’re being charged with a drug crime, don’t wait for prosecutors to make it worse. Reach out to our experienced criminal defense team today. We’ll work hard to ensure your legal problems don’t get any worse than they already are. 

See also:

How to Exercise Your 5th Amendment Rights After a Los Angeles Arrest

Do You Have to Provide DNA When Under Arrest in Los Angeles?

How Does Bail Work in Los Angeles?

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