Drug Overdose Immunity

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Drug Overdose Immunity

A drug crime is a violation of federal or state laws. These crimes include drug possession, manufacturing, use, and distribution. With drug possession, the individual taking the drug can overdose. An overdose, which refers to taking too much of a drug, can lead to serious side effects including death.

Are Drug Overdoses Preventable?

Yes. Drug overdoses from opiates and other hard drugs are preventable because it takes hours for the effects to become lethal. Many individuals who overdose are with other people when they overdose, and can theoretically be saved by those people. However, most people are too afraid to call for medical assistance for the individual overdosing because of being arrested for drug or drug-related crime. Sometimes, those individuals experiencing an overdose do not call for help because of the same fear.

What Is Drug Overdose Immunity?

Drug overdose immunity, or Good Samaritan laws, provides some protection against getting arrested for the person calling for medical assistance. The immunity is intended to help reduce the number of overdose-related injuries or deaths by limiting the consequences that a person may face when they procure medical help.

What Are the Types of Good Samaritan Laws?

There are two primary types of Good Samaritan laws. One type of law encourages a person to call for emergency medical assistance for anyone experiencing an overdose. The person calling and/or the person overdosing will not be subjected to criminal charges.

The second type of Good Samaritan law provides low-level criminal or civil immunity for anyone involved with opiate antidote naloxone, which is used to reverse the effects of a drug overdose connected with:

Is Seeking Medical Assistance for a Drug Overdose a Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card?

No. Many states try to reduce concerns about drug immunity laws by restricting who receives immunity. For example, the court may look at the defendant’s criminal history to determine whether they are immunity from criminal charges.

Do I Need to Contact a Lawyer about Overdose Immunity Laws?

You should not be punished for doing the right thing and saving someone’s life by calling for medical help when they need it most. If you are charged with a crime because you were helping someone seek medical attention for a drug overdose, contact a criminal lawyer. The lawyer will determine the course to take get the charge reduced or dropped.

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Last Modified: 11-25-2015 08:36 PM PST

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