In many situations, when policymakers perceive a “crisis” connected to drugs or alcohol, they react by imposing even stricter penalties and becoming more aggressive in taking legal action against those who are allegedly involved in drug offenses. It is this belief that drug problems can be solved through harsh penalties that has helped to result in draconian three-strikes laws on the federal level and that is contributing to mass incarceration problems in the United States.
Those who are accused of drug crimes and fall victim to harsh laws passed based on politics should consult with a Schenectady drug defense lawyer to find out if they have options for defending themselves to avoid conviction or reduce penalties. An attorney can provide advice on how the law applies to the evidence in the case and offer assistance in trying to fight conviction or reduce the penalties that you face.
The latest example of how efforts to combat drug problems have led to aggressive legal action is the new Opioid Squad that is being created to attempt to deal with a heroin and Oxycodone epidemic that caused the death of more than 1,000 New Yorkers in 2016.
New Opioid Squad Formed to Combat the Heroin and Oxycodone Epidemic
The new Opioid Squad is being created by the New York Police Department. The Squad will consist of a special unit that is staffed by more than two dozen experienced detectives. Currently when police handle an opioid overdose case, the investigation is conducted by defectives in whatever precinct the overdose happened to take place in. This left investigations scattered around the city. The investigations will now be centralized and will be handled by dedicated detectives who focus solely on this particular issue.
The Squad’s sole focus will be to target opioid overdose situations with the intention of pressing charges against dealers who sold the drugs that led to overdoses. Most of the detectives who will be on this squad and who will be conducting these intensive investigations have backgrounds in homicide and narcotics. An NYPD supervisor will also oversee the Opioid Squad and will report directly to both top brass and to federal authorities.
One big goal of the squad will be to find dealers and, when possible to charge them with serious crimes including murder if the facts of the case are believed to support such a charge. Although overdoses have traditionally been treated as individual incidents with the victim seen as the cause of his or her own death, the death toll of the opioid crisis is being used to justify the novel approach of targeting dealers for prosecution.
If you get caught up in the enforcement efforts of the Opioid Squad, it is important that you know your rights and try to fight against the harsh penalties that you could potentially face. The drug defense lawyers at The Law Office of James E. Tyner, PLLC can provide you with assistance in responding assertively and strategically to protect your future when you are accused of wrongdoing.
Contact us as soon as you are under investigation for any crimes connected to opioids or other drugs so we can help you navigate through a criminal justice system that is aggressive in pursuing drug crime cases.