Law Offices of Robert M. Bernstein Articles The 911 Good Samaritan Bill in California

The 911 Good Samaritan Bill in California

By Law Offices of Robert M. Bernstein  May. 21, 2013 1:53p

California passed Assembly Bill 472, called the "911 Good Samaritan" bill last year, which went into effect on January 1, 2013. The bill gives some immunity from arrest or prosecution to those who call 911 when they witness the possible drug overdose of another. It was aimed at reducing the number of drug overdose deaths in the state. Prior to the passage of the bill, those who were witness to a possible drug overdose of another might not seek assistance due to fear of being arrested themselves for drug possession or for fear of being sued or prosecuted for an unintended injury or wrongful death. The bill removes the threat of these legal actions in many cases. Those who sell or traffic in drugs, however, are not protected by the law.

Ten states now have such laws. In California, as in many other states, drug overdoses are a leading cause of accidental fatalities. According to the California Society of Addiction Medicine, drug overdoses are the leading cause of accidental deaths in the nation; these deaths are even greater than those caused by traffic accidents in people aged 25 to 64. Often, such fatalities could be prevented if the overdosing person received emergency medical care in time. The new law now protects the 911 caller as well as the overdosing person from arrest and prosecution of simple drug possession, the possession of drug paraphernalia, or for being under the influence of drugs. Driving while under the influence of alcohol and / or drugs is still a crime, however.

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer

Any criminal arrest, whether it involves drug crimes, DUI, or other offenses has the potential to seriously impact and hamper your life. You may be facing potential jail time, heavy fines, probation, and other court-mandated penalties. If convicted, a permanent criminal record can create problems in the future in terms of employment, career opportunities, and more. That is why it is important to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help to minimize the consequences of your charges.

The Law Offices of Robert M. Bernstein, located in Los Angeles, provides skilled legal representation for the criminally accused. Mr. Bernstein's practice is limited strictly to criminal defense, which means that your case will be in the hands of a legal professional who devotes 100 percent of his time to this field. The firm represents clients at both the state and federal level in all types of charges and will handle your case from pre-file investigation to appeals and post-conviction matters. Contact the firm to schedule a legal consultation about your arrest and charges or visit their website at for valuable information about criminal defense topics.

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