The start of a new year means different things for different people and entities. Where the state government is concerned, it means that new laws will be proposed. In our last post we wrote about proposed laws designed to impact some individuals convicted of certain violent crimes. In this post we will focus on four that could affect those charged with drug matters surrounding the use of heroin.
These four bills, House Bill 1500, House Bill 1638, House Bill 1458 and Senate Bill 817, would each tackle the problem from a different angle.
Some, such as House Bills 1500 and 1458, seem to lean toward supporting users of opioids such as heroin. More specifically House Bill 1500 would provide those who seek medical attention either for themselves or another person due to overdosing on drugs or alcohol, a safe-reporting exemption. House Bill 1458 would expand a pilot program currently in place to permit first responders and law enforcement to both carry, as well as administer, naloxone when necessary to reverse an opioid overdose.
The other two, seek to make consequences harsher for those convicted of certain drug crimes. Senate Bill 817 would make it possible for the prescriptions of someone who is on probation to be monitored by probation officers. If passed, House Bill 1638 would make charges against drug dealers following fatal overdoses, second-degree murder. This would lead to between five and 40 years in prison for the convicted individual.
If they take effect changes like these could have a great impact on the lives of those accused of certain drug crimes. As is the case with any criminal charge it is important to work with a criminal defense lawyer.