Can You Get Criminal Charges If You Tell A Doctor The Truth About Your Drug Use?
Drugs can kill, but sometimes enforcement of drug laws makes the situation worse instead of better. Anyone’s chances of surviving a drug overdose or adverse reaction to a drug, legal or illegal, are better the sooner they seek medical attention. Many overdose deaths could have been prevented if people who were present when they realized that the victim was in a dangerous condition had called the police sooner; when the victim’s companions disposed of their illegal drugs or tried to sober up before calling the police, the victim’s prognosis got worse. Therefore, Good Samaritan laws are now in place where the police cannot arrest you or charge you with drug crimes even if they see the drugs with their own eyes, when you are rendering assistance to someone suffering an overdose. What happens, though, when the overdose victim is you? Are you taking a legal risk by calling an ambulance or going to the emergency room? The law protects you from prosecution for drug crimes when your acknowledgement that you possessed or used illegal drugs is in the context of attempting to get medical help for yourself or someone else. If you have been unfairly charged with a drug offense, contact a Florida drug offense attorney.
Seek Medical Remedies After a Bad Experience With Drugs, Not Legal Ones
The standard of care requires doctors to get as accurate a medical history as possible when treating patients. Therefore, it is their job to ask about illegal drug use, as well as other aspects of your life that you might not feel like discussing. (Consider that most people do not want to tell the whole world their age, weight, or whether they are sexually active, but doctors ask about these uncomfortable matters, too.) Patient confidentiality laws prohibit doctors from telling the police about your drug use, even if your visit to the hospital occurred because you felt paranoid, short of breath, or otherwise ill after taking drugs and you suspected that the drug contained something other than what the person who sold it to you said it contained.
A recent new story highlights what not to do. In March 2022, Thomas Colucci of Hernando County went to a bar and bought methamphetamine from a fellow patron. After smoking the drug mixture, Colucci felt out of sorts, and he began to suspect that it was not methamphetamine, but rather cheaper fillers he described as “bath salts.” He called the police, and when officers arrived, he showed them the powder and asked them to test it. According to the Daily Mail, Colucci allegedly hoped to seek legal remedies against the seller, but the police ended up arresting Colucci instead. If he had gone to the emergency room instead of trying to get the seller of fake meth in legal trouble, things could have been different. (It warrants mention, though, that in some plea deals, you can get a lesser sentence by telling police the name of the person who sold you the drugs.)
Contact FL Drug Defense Group About Immunity From Drug Charges
A Central Florida criminal defense lawyer can help you if you were unfairly charged with drug crimes arising from an incident where you should have been immune to prosecution. Contact FL Drug Defense Group in Orlando, Florida to discuss your case.