Defending Those Accused Of Crimes Involving Fentanyl
Over the past ten years, fentanyl has been steadily infiltrating the drug supply in the United States. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), fentanyl has been a significant contributor to the rise in deaths resulting from drug overdoses. Naturally, this substance has also become commonly associated with drug crimes. At Gean, Gean & Gean, our attorneys defend people in Western Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma facing drug charges related to fentanyl.
Get The Facts On Fentanyl-Related Offenses
Arkansas classifies fentanyl as Schedule II controlled substance. The classification of fentanyl possession charges ranges from a Class D to a Class B felony. For example, possessing one gram or less of fentanyl is a Class C felony. Prison time goes from three years up to 20 years. Those convicted of fentanyl possession may also pay fines ranging from $10,000 to $15,000.
Manufacturing or trafficking fentanyl is a Class Y felony in Arkansas. Manufacturing the substance garners a prison sentence of ten to 40 years up to life. Trafficking the substance has a minimum 25-year prison sentence of up to 60 years or life, in addition to a $1,000,000 fine.
Fentanyl Has Created A Public Health Crisis In Arkansas
Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed a bill into law in April 2023 that officially declared the fentanyl crisis in the state as a public health emergency.
According to the bill, out of 496 autopsies the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory performed on those who died from drug overdoses in 2021, 282 involved fentanyl. That’s 58%. Just five years earlier, only about 4% of drug overdose deaths were attributed to fentanyl.
Arkansas’ Governor Is Cracking Down
The same bill that declared fentanyl a public health emergency also laid out more severe penalties for other fentanyl-related offenses. If someone knowingly gives fentanyl to another person and they die, they will be charged with aggravated death by delivery. The prison sentence for this charge ranges from 20 to 60 years. If a minor passes away from a fentanyl overdose and the dealer is more than three years older than them, then they get a sentence of life in prison.
Those who package fentanyl in a way that appeals to minors may be charged with predatory marketing of fentanyl to those under 18, which also garners a life sentence in addition to a $1,000,000 fine.
Let’s Start Working On Your Defense Today
The penalties for fentanyl-related charges are tough. You need an equally tough legal team fighting for you to escape them. If you’re facing charges, contact our firm. Call 479-222-1520 or reach out online to schedule a free consultation.