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The Dangers of Sharing - Len Bias Homicides

It used to be considered polite to offer a guest something when they visited, or just as polite to bring a gift when visiting someone.  Some people would bring a bottle of wine, others might prepare a side dish or dessert. While this can still be true in most cases today, one thing that it isn't a good idea is to share is your drugs. While you might be the life of the party when you break the drugs out, if a death should result, Len Bias is likely to be the only one standing by you.

What is the Len Bias Law?

Len Bias can apply to a variety of situations, but lets start with the most common example: Two friends get together one night. Person A has brought a small amount of heroin which both of them proceed to do over the course of the night. The two go to bed but sometime during the night, Person B dies. Person A calls the police or an ambulance as soon as he can't wake Person B, but there is nothing that can be done. In this situation it is very likely that Person A will be charged with what is referred to as a Len Bias Homicide.

The actual name that Congress gave was the Anti-Drug Act, but is more commonly known as the Len Bias Law. In broad strokes, Len Bias aims to hold the person who supplies an individual who overdoses, responsible for their death.  In many cases, this can be the person who simply had the drugs that were taken, not necessarily a person who is selling the drugs.

Problems

 There are obviously some fairly apparent problems with a Len Bias situation. Many people make arguments that laws such as Len Bias, dissuade people from reporting overdoses for fear of getting themselves into serious trouble with the law. Currently there have been calls by legislators to revise the law to exclude those  who report overdosing from being charged with Len Bias, but so far no such change to the legislation has been made.

What To Do

If you find yourself in a situation where someone is overdosing, you should always call 911 immediately. As with every crime, there is discretion in charging, and you are less likely to be charged if you seek help from the proper authorities right away. In many cases, proper medical attention can help save a person suffering from an overdose which would allow someone to avoid this situation all together. It is also best to contact an attorney as soon as possible if you find yourself in this situation, especially before giving any statement to the police. With careful legal maneuvering, you may be able to avoid charges all together.

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