Drug overdoses are common reality in Florida. Sadly, fear of prosecution prevents many individuals from seeking help for themselves or others when an overdose is suspected. In fact, law enforcement officials often make arrests following an overdose. After all, there is usually ample evidence present at the scene of an overdose to prove that certain drug crimes have occurred.
Yet, Florida law provides protection to those individuals who, in good faith, seek out medical assistance for themselves or others who are experiencing a drug or alcohol overdose. Under the law, these individuals cannot be arrested or charged with a drug crime if the evidence was gathered as a direct result from an individual seeking help.
But the protection doesn’t stop there. Those who in good faith seek out help for an overdose or suspected overdose cannot be penalized as violating probation, parole or pre-trial condition if evidence of such violation is gathered in response to the individual in question seeking out medical assistance.
Even with these protections in place, though, Floridians may find themselves subjected to arrest and prosecution. When this happens, they need to make sure that they are putting forth an aggressive criminal defense that relies on the law.
In these particular cases, it is important to present evidence that the defendant was acting in good faith at the time and that the evidence being utilized to support the charges was gathered during the course of obtaining medical assistance. It’s also important to note that this provision of the statute does not protect an individual from having that evidence used in the prosecution of other, non-drug offenses. In other words, even though this defense may seem pretty simple on its face, it can actually be quite complex. This is why Floridians who are facing drug charges are oftentimes best suited seeking guidance from a legal advocate of their choosing.