Virginia drug lawyer on the more defendant-friendly good samaritan law
Virginia drug lawyer explains the improved good samaritan law
Virginia drug lawyer work involves dealing with a harsh sentencing scheme, if the defendant gets convicted. As a Fairfax criminal lawyer, I know that the good samaritan (“GS”) law — codified as Va. Code § 18.2-251.03 — is not only essential for the defense to scour when a drug overdose is involved, but that the GS law has been updated to be more favorable to Virginia drug defendants than before.
What are the defendant-friendly updates to the Virginia drug overdose good samaritan law?
As a Virginia drug lawyer, I know that the current drug overdose good samaritan law provides that “No individual shall be subject to arrest or prosecution for the unlawful purchase, possession, or consumption of… a controlled substance pursuant to § 18.2-250 if:
- Such individual (i) in good faith, seeks or obtains emergency medical attention (a) for himself, if he is experiencing an overdose, or (b) for another individual, if such other individual is experiencing an overdose, or (ii) is experiencing an overdose and another individual, in good faith, seeks or obtains emergency medical attention for such individual, by contemporaneously reporting such overdose to [statutorily-designated emergency or law enforcement personnel];
- Such individual remains at the scene of the overdose or at any alternative location to which he or the person requiring emergency medical attention has been transported until a law-enforcement officer responds to the report of an overdose…;
- Such individual identifies himself to the law-enforcement officer who responds to the report of the overdose; and
- The evidence for the prosecution of an offense enumerated in t”his subsection was obtained as a result of the individual seeking or obtaining emergency medical attention.” Virginia Code § 18.2-251.03(B).
Fairfax criminal lawyer on the defense hurdles that no longer exist in the commonwealth’s good samaritan law
As a Virginia drug lawyer, I know that a 2019 legislative change benefitted criminal defendants by removing the following provision from the commonwealth’s good samaritan law: “If requested by a law-enforcement officer, such individual substantially cooperates in any investigation of any criminal offense reasonably related to the controlled substance, alcohol, or combination of such substances that resulted in the overdose.” Moreover, 2020 legislation made the GS law no longer an affirmative defense for criminal defendants, but instead provided that those meeting the good samaritan definition shall not be arrested nor prosecuted in the first place.
How do I know whether I qualify for the Virginia good samaritan drug law?
If you are charged with a Virginia drug possession offense and think you might qualify for the good samaritan drug law defense, it is ideal for you timely to consult with a qualified Virginia drug lawyer on that possibility.
Fairfax criminal lawyer Jonathan L. Katz pursues your best defense against Virginia drug, felony, misdemeanor and DUI prosecutions. Call 703-383-1100 for a free in-person confidential consultation with Jon Katz about your court-pending criminal or DWI case.