The Zuckerman Law Firm LLC and its owners, employees and/or agents, do not guarantee any result or outcome on any legal matter, and do not make any promises or representations regarding the accuracy of information on this website. drug dealing), Drug-Induced Homicide or Drug Delivery Resulting in Death. 780-113.7 and is titled Drug Overdose Response Immunity. 2003 South Easton Road, Suite 300, Doylestown, PA 18901. callback: cb For example, if heroin is found as a result of a reported overdose, the reporting and overdosing person may not be prosecuted, but the evidence can be used to prosecute their drug dealer. Friends Don't Let Friends Shoot Heroin ... Alone Generally, the most likely charges for providing the drugs related to an overdose death are second degree murder, or manslaughter, as it is unlikely that a drug dealer wants to kill their customers (that would just be bad for business). New law would provide immunity from simple possession charges for those who call 911 in the case of an overdose . Photographs presented on this site are representative and may not represent actual clients/cases. CVS customers can walk into pharmacies in 23 states, including Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and purchase naloxone under standing prescriptions authorized by the states for $60 to $90 for a … The questions asked of you should be those necessary to understand and avert the medical emergency. Opioids, both legal and illegal, were present in 85 percent of those deaths. Prior to the enactment of Senate Bill 1164, a person who suffered from a drug overdose and those who reported the overdose could be charged with numerous possessory crimes. Pennsylvania’s version of the “Good Samaritan” or drug overdose immunity law is intended to encourage people to call for medical assistance for people that are suffering from drug overdoses without a fear of the caller being prosecuted or the person needing medical assistance being prosecuted. Police only became aware of the drug offense because the reporting person transported the overdosing person to a healthcare facility, campus police or law enforcement agency; OR 2. See FindLaw's Drug Charges … Several other states already have such immunity laws. If a person complies with the requirements listed above, police do not obtain information about the crime prior to the emergency, or police do not obtain information about the crime independently and unrelated to the emergency, he or she will be immune from prosecution for the following offenses: An overdosing person or reporting person may still face prosecution for the following crimes: Evidence recovered during a reported overdose may be used to prosecute a third party. 780-113.7 and is titled Drug Overdose Response Immunity. In 2016, Pennsylvania coroners and medical examiners reported 4,642 drug-related overdose deaths. The person reported the drug overdose in good faith to law enforcement AND the person provided their name and location to law enforcement AND the person remained with the person needing medical attention until law enforcement arrived. The law can be found at 35 P.S. Statements made regarding drug sharing or delivery can be used to prosecute you for serious drug offenses. } Many law enforcement officers are not aware of this new law and are filing criminal charges against people who are immune from prosecution. The sale of heroin to a minor can result in double penalties. PA Enacts Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Immunity Law. Under Section 13.7, a Drug Overdose Event is defined as, "an acute medical condition, including, but not limited to, severe physical illness, coma, mania, hysteria or death, which is the result of consumption or use of one or more controlled substances causing an adverse reaction. If you … The impact of the opioid crisis continues to be devastating to individuals, families and communities. According to the Centers for Disease Control, heroin and opioid overdose are the leading cause of accidental death in Pennsylvania, killing more individuals than those involved in fatal motor vehicle accidents. Here's a look at civil liability for drug overdoses. The law also provides that a person experiencing a drug overdose cannot be criminally charged and shall be immune from prosecution if the person who assisted them qualifies for immunity in one of the two instances listed above. The content of this website is for informational and/or marketing purposes only, and must not be relied upon in making legal decisions, or construed as legal advice for any individual case or situation. If an overdose is fatal, the surviving members of the victim's family may file a wrongful death claim. Charges for dealers and traffickers are much more serious and charged as felonies, up to 15 years in prison, with mandatory minimum sentences guaranteeing some amount of incarceration. } Likewise, if members of law enforcement contact you after you have been released from the scene of the overdose, you should remain silent and ask to speak to a lawyer. } © 2020 Clemons Richter & Reiss, PC. Police only became aware of the drug offense because the reporting person transported the overdosing person to a healthcare facility, campus police or law enforcement agency; OR, 2. COVID-19 UPDATE: An important announcement from Clemons Richter & Reiss, P.C. And beyond possible criminal charges, could you be sued if you gave someone drugs that led to a deadly overdose? On December 1, 2014 a new law went into effect in Pennsylvania which changes the state’s drug laws to provide immunity for people who suffer a drug overdose and for people who report a drug overdoes, as long as certain criteria is met. Under the newly enacted Section 13.7 of the PA Controlled Substances Act, a person cannot be charged and prosecuted for certain drug crimes, as well as probation and parole violations, if: 1. Almost any case can be won with a lot of skill, and a little luck. Remains with the overdosing person until members of law enforcement or medical personnel arrive. Under this standard, an event is a drug overdose if a, "prudent layperson, possessing an average knowledge of medicine and health, would reasonably believe that the condition is in fact a drug overdose and requires immediate medical attention.". The law, found at 35 P.S. The prohibition on charging or prosecution applies to the filing of new criminal charges that are named in the law and include possession of drugs or drug paraphernalia, as well as the filing of probation and parole violations. Reports the overdose to 911, a member of law enforcement, a member of campus police, or emergency services personnel; Cooperates with members of law enforcement and medical personnel; and. Under the newly enacted Section 13.7 of the PA Controlled Substances Act, a person cannot be charged and prosecuted for certain drug crimes, as well as probation and parole violations, if: 1. Proponents of the new law believe it may save the lives of individuals who may otherwise have been left to suffer a drug overdose without the proper medical attention. If you are the subject of a criminal investigation, or have been charged with a crime in connection with an overdose event, call the Zuckerman Law Firm today at 412-447-5580. The law can be found at 35 P.S. Please note that the free consultation referenced throughout this website is a telephone-only consultation, provided only to individuals with active criminal, DUI or traffic cases in Western Pennsylvania, and will be limited to an overview of the paid services the law firm can provide. { The law states that a person who assists a person experiencing a drug overdose cannot be criminally charged and is immune from prosecution in either of the following instances: 1. Senate Bill 1164 amended Pennsylvania's Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act by granting immunity to an overdosing person and those who render aid under limited circumstances. window.mc4wp.listeners.push( ); In Pennsylvania, a person can be charged with drug delivery resulting in death, which is considered a homicide and can carry up to a 40-year prison sentence, for providing drugs to a … Simple Possession: knowingly or intentionally possessing a controlled or counterfeit substance, Purchasing From Unauthorized Person: Intentionally purchasing or knowingly receiving in commerce a controlled substance, drug or device from a person not authorized to dispense or sell such a drug or device, Small Amount of Marijuana: Possessing a small amount of marijuana for personal use, or possessing or distributing a small amount of marijuana without intent to sell it, Drug Paraphernalia: Using drug paraphernalia, or possessing paraphernalia with intent to use it, Delivering, Manufacturing or Possessing Drug Paraphernalia With Intent to Deliver. The person transported a person experiencing a drug overdose to a law enforcement agency, campus security office or health care facility AND law enforcement only became aware of the incident and of certain criminal offenses because of that person’s assistance; 2. ", In determining whether an event qualifies as a drug overdose, the courts will utilize a "prudent layperson" standard. The reporting person has a reasonable, good faith belief that another is suffering from an overdose, and, Under Section 13.7(c), "persons experiencing drug overdose events may not be charged and shall be immune from prosecution as provided in subsection (b) if a person who transported or reported and remained with them may not be charged and is entitled to immunity under this section.".