Recently, Lampman Law successfully defended a Drug Delivery Resulting in Death with the charge being dismissed.


Accordingly, we know the stakes of these case are especially high; in fact, the penalties for this crime are set just one level below the highest sentencing level. We also understand that prosecutors want to file this charge and pine to convict those accused of committing it. Indeed, these prosecutions get special attention and support. Certainly, they involve tragic facts and circumstances. They are also emblematic of a community’s struggle with the drug crisis—these cases are the government’s opportunity for retribution on the cause of all their problems. In sum, when this crime is charged, the accused must be willing and ready to win at trial.


Section 2506 Defined


Any one that intentionally administers, dispenses, delivers, gives, prescribes, sells or distributes any controlled substance or counterfeit controlled substance in violation of the Drug Act, and another person dies as a result of using the substance, is guilty of this offense.


Elements of the Offense


To convict a person of this offense, the Commonwealth must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the delivery: (1) was committed by the accused; and, (2) the drug delivered caused the victim’s death.


Defending a Delivery Resulting in Death Case


While prosecutors are eager to charge this crime, it is difficult to prove for several reasons. For example:


First, it is essential for the Commonwealth to establish a clear timeline of the delivery and the drug use that caused the overdose. In general, this can be problematic since: drug deliveries are typically done clandestinely; and, the value of any eyewitness testimony may be low due to drug usage or an unwillingness to testify.


Second, even if the delivery can be established, proving that the delivered drug caused the overdose death is also difficult. In short, most drug users today use a large quantity of drugs. Thus, they typically have multiple packages of drugs or drug paraphernalia around them. They also often use a combination of drugs. The Commonwealth needs to prove the delivered drug—and no other drug—caused the death. Here again, the value of eyewitness testimony may be low due to drug usage. Furthermore, anyone present may have been more likely to have delivered the fatal dose of the drug.


Third, autopsy and toxicology labs must be performed, and the reports must support the conclusion that the delivered drug caused the death.


Fourth, like it or not, many potential jurors (even those that have lost loved ones to overdoses) do not like shifting blame from the drug used. In fact, during jury selection, it is common for panel members to verbalize their opinion that drug users “assume the risk” of the drugs they use. In truth, the verbiage used is often far less polite and more critical of the choices drug users make.


Of course, all cased are different and must be closely investigated and studied to determine the best defenses.


 Grading, Maximum Penalty, Standard Range Sentence


Drug Delivery Resulting in Death is a felony of the first degree. The maximum penalty is forty (40) years when the victim is an adult. If the victim is a minor, there is no maximum sentence.

The offense gravity score of Drug Delivery Resulting in Death is thirteen (13). Even if the accused has a prior record score (PRS) of zero (0), the standard range sentence is 60 to 78 months. Courts typically sentence at the middle to the high end of the standard range for this offense; however, a court sentence an offender in the mitigated range in at least one case. Thus in most cases the offender will be sentenced to at least five (5) to ten (10) years of state incarceration for this offense.

Free Consultation


If you or someone you love is charged with Drug Delivery Resulting in Death in Pennsylvania call Lampman Law for a free consultation, these cases are challenging but we can help.

2 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701

reception@lampmanlaw.com  |   570-371-3737

Lampman Law practices criminal defense and civil rights in the Counties of: Bradford, Carbon, Clinton, Columbia, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, Mifflin, Monroe, Montour, Northampton, Northumberland, Pike, Schuylkill, Snyder, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Union, Wayne, Wyoming. Lampman Law Office is located in Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.

Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. The information on this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Do not rely on it for accuracy or direction. You should consult an attorney for advice concerning your individual situation because every case is different. Further, contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Do not send confidential information to us until an attorney-client relationship has been established.

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