New Law Provides Immunity from Some Crimes If You Seek Medical Help for an Overdose in Las Vegas

Posted by Neil Shouse | Jan 25, 2016 | 0 Comments


According to the White House, Nevada's drug overdose rate far exceeds the national average and is the fourth highest in the nation. Many people in Las Vegas who die from a drug overdose could have survived if they had received medical attention immediately. That's why Nevada passed a new law in 2015 that shields individuals from some drug charges if they call 911 or get medical help for someone who is ODing.

Often, individuals in Las Vegas who are overdosing don't get the medical help that could save their life. Either they or the folks around them are afraid to call 911 or go to an ER because they are afraid they will get charged with a drug crime.

Nevada's “Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act” (SB 459) was passed to encourage people to seek medical assistance by providing immunity from prosecution for certain crimes if they do so.

Specifically, the Act provides that:

“a person who, in good faith, seeks medical assistance for a person who is experiencing a drug or alcohol overdose or other medical emergency or who seeks such assistance for himself or herself, or who is the subject of a good faith request for such assistance may not be arrested, charged, prosecuted or convicted, or have his or her property subjected to forfeiture, or be otherwise penalized for violating” certain Nevada laws “if the evidence to support the arrest, charge, prosecution, conviction, seizure or penalty was obtained as a result of the person seeking medical assistance.”

If you seek help for yourself or a friend who is ODing, you cannot be arrested for or charged with the following crimes:

  • Possession of drug paraphernalia
  • Possession of a controlled substance, unless it is for the purpose of sale
  • Use of a controlled substance
  • Violation of a restraining order; or
  • Violation of a condition of the person's parole or probation, if the

The act also provides that the act of seeking medical assistance may be raised in mitigation in connection with certain other crimes.

If you have been charged with a drug crime in Las Vegas, please give one of the experienced Las Vegas drug crimes attorneys at Shouse Las Vegas Defense Group a call today to discuss your situation.

About the Author

Neil Shouse

Southern California DUI Defense attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT).


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