Generally, possession of an illegal substance with the intent to distribute is a serious crime and often results in more serious consequences than drug possession for personal use. However, in Pennsylvania, you can also be charged with drug delivery resulting in death, which is perhaps the most serious drug charge of all. Drug delivery resulting in death can result in a sentence of up to 40 years in prison and is classified as a felony.
Two Pennsylvania men were recently charged with possession with intent to deliver drugs and criminal use of a communication device, and are also facing a pending charge of drug delivery resulting in death. These charges apparently stemmed from a drug overdose that occurred over the July 4th weekend.
If you have been charged with drug delivery resulting in death, prosecutors will have to establish that you intentionally gave someone and drug and that they died as a result of using the drug. However, this crime can often be difficult for prosecutors to prove as it is hard to establish that the drugs given to them in fact contributed to the person's death. This law was implemented to reduce the number of overdoses and drug crimes, but some argue that it has not served that purpose.
Pennsylvania courts often impose strict penalties for drug distribution, particularly if someone is killed because of that distribution. A criminal defense attorney can help defend you against these serious charges and minimize the penalties you face if you are convicted. Remember that the burden of proof is on the prosecutor, meaning that it is their job to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to get a conviction.