Two South Jersey residents have been charged with strict liability for drug-induced death after a woman died of a heroin overdose in Ocean County, New Jersey.
According to officials from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, 42-year-old Lisa Guadagno, of Jackson Township, NJ, died on August 1st at her home. Jackson police responded to the scene after receiving a report that Guadagno was unresponsive. Although they attempted to revive her, she could not be resuscitated.
The toxicology and autopsy reports confirmed drug overdose was the cause of Guadagno’s death. Detectives from the Jackson Police Department and Ocean County Prosecutor’s Major Crimes Unit launched an investigation to identify the drug supplier.
Ultimately, the narcotics investigation led them to 19-year-old Genuine Baines, of Trenton, and 28-year-old Lindsay Robson, of Robbinsville. Both were charged with strict liability for drug-induced death, as well as heroin possession, possession of heroin with the intent to distribute, and heroin distribution. They are both in custody at the Ocean County Jail in Toms River.
This is the 20th case in which the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office has filed strict-liability for drug-induced death charges.
What is Strict Liability for Drug-Induced Death?
Under New Jersey law, a person can be charged with Strict Liability for Drug-Induced Deaths in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-9 if they manufacture, distribute, or dispense a drug that another person fatally overdoses on. This applies to methamphetamine (meth), lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), phencyclidine (PCP), or any other Schedule I or II controlled dangerous substance (CDS). Notably, heroin and cocaine are both in schedules I and II.
Strict Liability for Drug-Induced Deaths is considered among the most serious crimes in New Jersey, which is why it is always a crime of the first degree. This means that a person convicted for drug-induced death may be sentenced to serve between 10 and 20 years in NJ State Prison.
The language contained in Section 2C:35-9 explicitly states that the prosecution need not prove the defendant recklessly or negligently caused the other person’s death. The only thing that State needs to establish is that the injection, inhalation, or ingestion of the substance led to the person’s death. Essentially, if you supplied the drug and the person who took it died of an overdose, you may be charged with a first degree crime under the New Jersey drug-induced death statute.
Toms River Attorneys for Drug-Induced Death Charges
When facing serious drug charges in Ocean County or elsewhere in New Jersey, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney who will aggressively challenge the State’s case. At William Proetta Criminal Law, our lawyers have represented thousands of defendants in drug cases across New Jersey. We have the knowledge, skill, and dedication to achieve the best outcome for you. For a free consultation about your drug case in Ocean County, NJ, contact our offices in Toms River at (848) 238-2100 or contact us online.
To find out more about this case, click the following: MERCER CO RESIDENTS BRING DRUG INDUCED DEATH TO OC