The United States is currently experiencing an opioid crisis the federal government has classified as an emergency. More and more people are turning to street drugs such as heroin to satisfy their addiction to opioids, including prescription painkillers.
The reality is the market for these drugs is on the rise, and as a result, federal and state governments are moving into action to put legislation in place that aims to severely punish those caught dealing drugs.
Pennsylvania overdose deaths
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Pennsylvania was in the top 10 in terms of the highest number of overdose deaths in the nation. With its rate of 26.3 overdose deaths per 100,000 people, Pennsylvania ranked sixth in the nation in overdose deaths in 2015.
Drug overdoses are taking a serious toll on individuals and families across the country. As the epidemic continues, lawmakers are likely to begin the process of proposing stronger legislation against drug dealing that contributes to the crisis.
Law enforcement officers in Pennsylvania are actively pursuing not only those who deal drugs such as prescription painkillers, heroin or synthetic substitutes, they are also arresting and charging people who use these drugs. Many people who are now addicted to opioids may have never imagined becoming addicted and yet could find themselves in a situation in which they are subject to arrest. In addition, the heightened focus on and awareness of the opioid crisis is leading local law enforcement in many places to shift and increase resources to combat the problem, which may result in more drug-related arrests.
For people who are arrested on possession charges, the particular elements in their case can play a big role in determining how the court proceeds in their sentencing. For example, where the police found the drugs is an important component. Details such as this are not usually evident to the defendant, which is why it can be important to seek out professional legal advice and counsel regarding an individual situation.
For those found dealing drugs, the penalties if convicted can be quite serious. It is important for these individuals to have a strong defense attorney who can analyze their case and provide a strategy in court that takes into account the details of the situation.
In any type of drug-related arrest, one of the first steps a defendant should take is to contact a qualified criminal defense attorney who has experience with drug charges. This type of experience can help the accused understand charges as well as protect their rights and effectively face the legal process.