According to statistics, over 43,000 Americans die from a drug overdose each year. Many of these deaths involve opioid drugs, such as heroin, OxyContin, and hydrocodone. More specifically, Illinois saw over 1,300 heroine and prescription drug overdose deaths in 2012 alone. A large percentage of these deaths could have been prevented, had those with the person not been in fear of criminal charges for drug possession.
Thankfully, Illinois had implemented a policy that provides limited immunity to those who call for emergency medical treatment for a person who has overdosed. What do these laws look like, and how do you know if they apply to your situation? The following information may help.
Understanding the Illinois Immunity Law
In response to Illinois’ drug epidemic and startling rise in opioid deaths, lawmakers passed a bill in 2012 that provided limited immunity to anyone seeking emergency medical treatment for someone who has overdosed. This increases the chances that the overdosed person will receive naloxone, which can reverse the effects of an overdose and has, in many instances, saved lives of overdose victims.
However, the law does have its limitations. It only offers immunity for the possession of less than three grams of heroin, cocaine, or morphine; less than 40 grams of any Schedule I or II narcotic drug, such as hydrocodone or Oxycontin; or less than one gram of methamphetamine. Possession that exceeds these amounts, or possession of a different substance, is not covered under the immunity law.
When Your Life-Saving Call Results in an Arrest
There are some who would, without even so much as a second thought, call emergency responders to save the life of another. When that call results in an arrest, either due to the possession of a drug not offered immunity or possession that exceeds the specified amounts of the immunity law, it can feel like a kick in your morality. Worse yet, it may cause some to become jaded, which may hinder them from calling the next time they encounter someone who has overdosed.
If you are up against drug charges and have learned that your situation was not covered under the immunity laws, it is critical that you seek assistance from an experienced DuPage criminal defense lawyer. Contact Stephen A. Brundage, Attorney at Law, and get the quality representation you deserve. No matter what the situation, we will aggressively pursue the most favorable outcome possible. Call 630-260-9647 today.