Drug charges for overdose reporters addressed by new bill
The amount of people who die from drug overdoses in Pennsylvania, especially from heroin, has significantly jumped over the last few years. There are many reasons that polls point to for this increase, including higher unemployment rates, the purity of the drug and what it’s cut with, and the cheap cost of a heroin high. Drug charges surrounding the possession and distribution for heroin and other similar narcotics can come with stiff penalties, high fines, and long prison terms. If you have been arrested on drug charges, call criminal defense lawyer Gary Gerson today to talk about the details of your case. In an effort to reduce the number of deaths caused by heroin overdoses, Pennsylvania lawmakers have proposed a bill that, if signed into law, will grant immunity to people who report overdoses. It is believed that the reason for many deaths is that once people begin showing overdose symptoms, their friends and surrounding counterparts desert them and leave them to die by themselves for fear of being taken to jail if they call police. Currently, those who report an overdose are technically protected from prosecution, but can still be and almost always are arrested. Under this new law, anyone who police feel has intent to distribute the drug can still be arrested and prosecuted even if they make the call to 911. Essentially, the bill will not protect drug dealers, just addicts, according to lawmakers. In addition, the bill says that in order for the people involved to be granted immunity, the victim must still be alive and able to be rescued. Hence, the call cannot come hours after a death; and the caller must stay at the scene of the incident until police and other first responders arrive. There are also parts of the new bill that would allow police, medical first responders, and even family members of drug addicts to give anti-overdose medication to the victim that would greatly enhance the victim’s chances of being saved. If you have been arrest for drug possession or intent to sell, it is extremely important that you secure a quality criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Call The Law Offices of Gary E. Gerson today at (412) 281-3380 for a free consultation.