Page Hero

Hero Image

Defending Drug Overdose Homicides Training

Online - CLE is not available for this program

Faculty Exhibitor/Sponsor Register Online

LOCATION: An NACDL Virtual Experience
DATE: Recorded live January 28 - February 18, 2021; now available on demand

Program Description: With opioid-related deaths devastating communities across the country, many legislatures, prosecutors, and law-enforcement officers are choosing to treat these accidental overdose deaths as homicides. Despite the fact that there is no empirical evidence to suggest that such prosecutions stem the sale of drugs or the deaths that result from overdoses, in many parts of the country these prosecutions are on the rise. To protect those who stand accused in these often emotionally charged prosecutions, it is critical that defenders understand the legal, scientific, and practical aspects of defending these cases.

This 4-part training program will aid those working to defend persons accused of homicide in drug-related overdose deaths.

  • Part 1: Overview of the flawed theories that underlie the criminalization of substance use, as well as an examination of relevant state and federal statutes and legal defenses to these charges.
  • Part 2: Constitutional and evidentiary issues related to the digital data frequently utilized in the prosecution and defense of drug overdose cases.
  • Part 3: Forensic toxicology, chemistry, and pathology.
  • Part 4: Trial and sentencing strategies in overdose homicide cases.

This program is made possible through a generous grant from Vital Strategies. Vital Strategies is a global public health organization working to strengthen public health systems and address the world’s leading causes of illness, injury and death. The Vital Strategies Overdose Prevention Program works in four U.S. states to implement and advance evidence-based solutions, harm reduction strategies, and a range of health, legal, and social interventions to reduce harm and save lives.

For addional information and questions about this program please contact us at


Sponsorship and Exhibits



Code of Conduct

NACDL endeavors to foster a working, learning, and social environment free of harassment, discrimination, intimidation, and insult. To that end, NACDL has adopted a Code of Conduct for Affiliated Persons that applies to all attendees and participants of any kind at all NACDL sponsored events.

Learn More