If your friend or loved one has overdosed on drugs and you assist them in getting help, you can not be criminally charged, even if you were also using drugs (under most circumstances). This immunity also applies to anyone on probation or parole.
This law is often referred to as the Pennsylvania Good Samaritan Overdose Immunity Law.
Under Pennsylvania law, Act 139 SB 1164, passed in 2014, allows anyone who helps a person who is overdosing on drugs to obtain immunity from prosecution in the following circumstances:
- The person transported the person who was overdosing to a hospital or medical facility, to a law enforcement agency, or to a campus security office, and:
- The person dialed 911 or called emergency services to report the person was overdosing on drugs and was in need of immediate medical attention in order to prevent death or serious bodily injury;
- The person cooperated with the EMTs or emergency service providers;
- The person gives their name and locations; and,
- The person stayed with the person needing medical attention until emergency services arrived.
In addition, the law also states that the person who overdosed on drugs also cannot be criminally charged, if the person who assisted them qualifies for immunity under the above circumstances. Both will remain immune from prosecution.
The law is limited in that it does NOT apply if the following events have occurred:
- Law enforcement learned of the drug overdose independently;
- Drug delivery or Possession with Intent to Deliver;
- Drug delivery resulting in death or drug-induced homicide, and;
- Any other crime that may have occurred around the overdose event.
If you are with a friend or loved one who is experiencing an overdose from drugs, do not be afraid to call 911 or to seek medical attention or help from law enforcement agencies.
If you were charged with a drug crime, or your loved one was charged with a drug crime, contact our criminal drug lawyers in Pittsburgh, PA. We can help you understand your charges, prepare a strong and aggressive defense and try to get your charges reduced or dismissed.
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