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Should Good Samaritan law apply to your situation?

Though doing the right thing should feel like a simple act, it more often proves difficult for many people. Certain circumstances may make you fear repercussions that you could face when trying to help another person. Unfortunately, you could potentially get caught up in a legal predicament if you step in to help someone only to have the situation shed a negative light on you.

One example in which you and many others may feel hesitant to act relates to drug overdoses. When a family member, friend or even you suffer the negative effects of an overdose, you may quickly realize that you need help. Due to the potential for criminal charges, you and others may hesitate to call 911. However, certain laws may work to protect you in such cases.

Good Samaritan Law

By knowing more about the Good Samaritan law, you may find yourself quelling that hesitation and calling for help immediately. Many states, including Colorado, utilize this law in order to provide immunity to individuals associated with drug overdose situations as long as those parties call for help. The sooner a person receives the needed care to address an overdose, the higher the chances he or she may have of recovering.

Violations covered

You may also want to remember, however, that the law does not provide immunity for all drug violations. Typically, you may obtain immunity for minor infractions such as drug possession, drug paraphernalia possession and drug intoxication. If you call emergency services in order to seek help for an overdose, you and the victim should not face arrest for these violations.

Violations not covered

Of course, the law does not protect you from other drug violations. If police suspect that you sell or manufacture drugs or that you drove while under the influence, you could still face criminal charges for those violations even if you call to report an overdose. No matter your specific circumstances, you should always call for help when witnessing or experiencing an overdose. A lack of action could result in a possibly preventable death, which may not only weigh on your conscious but could also lead to more serious charges.

Addressing charges

If you call 911 and still face criminal allegations, you may want to review your circumstances to determine whether the Good Samaritan law should protect you. In any case, you have the right to defend against charges brought against you regardless of the specific allegations.

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