There is a major drug issue in this country that is undeniable. Lawmakers in North Carolina work tirelessly to try to find ways to reduce drug use and get drugs off the streets. The newest approach is trying to hold accountable those who are getting the drugs into the hands of people who overdose and die. The death by distribution law is one way the state is making changes as of December 1, 2019, according to the Sun Journal.

The law already can hold drug dealers accountable for the death of someone they sold drugs to, but the death by distribution law increases the charges and penalties. Under the new law, a drug dealer may face up to 182 months behind bars for his or her part in an overdose death. Even more damaging, if you have a previous charge related to drugs, you could face up to 40 years in jail if someone you sell to dies of an overdose.

Typically, if you face a charge of being responsible for the death of someone to whom you sold drugs, you will face a manslaughter charge. Going after a higher charge is not possible because it requires proving that you had an intent to kill the person, which obviously, you would not because you would want to continue to have that person as a customer. The new law changes this, though. It will allow for charges of second-degree murder without having to prove malice. This information is for education and is not legal advice.