Maryland’s Good Samaritan Law

Recently, we have had a few clients come to us for legal representation who have been charged with a crime, after calling the police,or obtaining medical assistance,for an individual who has overdosed from drugs. As criminal defense attorneys, the first thing that we always think about in our defense of these clients is whether the Good Samaritan Law applies.

What is the Good Samaritan Law? The Good Samaritan Law was enacted in 2015. The purpose of the law was to encourage people to act when someone,in their presence, was overdosing or having a medical emergency because of drugs or alcohol, and not fear that they’ll be charged with a crime. The law says that if you,in good faith, assist or call 911 for an individual who is having a medical emergency, or overdosed, from alcohol or drugs, that you should be immune from prosecution for certain criminal offenses arising out of the emergency. The crimes that you should be immune from are:

  • 5-601 Administering Dangerous Substance
  • 5-619 Possession with Intent to Use Paraphernalia
  • 5-620 Possession of Controlled Paraphernalia
  • 10-114 Minor Possession of Alcohol
  • 10-116 Obtaining Alcohol for Underage Person
  • 10-117 Furnishing Alcohol to an Underage Person

The problem is that many people still get charged with a crime when obtaining help to an overdosed individual. Sometimes officers are not aware of the Good Samaritan Law or don’t think it applies to our clients. In those cases, we work with the prosecutors to help them see that our client is immune from prosecution under the law and that the charges need to be dismissed. If you need help fighting your drug case, one of our experienced criminal lawyers can help you FIGHT your case!

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