What the “911 Good Samaritan Law” means for you…

Illegal drug use can change a family or friendship forever!

None of us make it through life without some scars.  Some wounds will never quite heal. Losing a friend or family member to the lifestyle of drug abuse has to be one of life’s most difficult wounds to heal — especially if the death was preventable.

Which is one reason why the 2014 death of Cynthia Byersmith’s son Craig is so tragic.

Surrounded by people at a party in Missouri,  no one was willing to call 911 when Craig aspirated his own vomit due to a heroin overdose in 2014.   Why? The partygoers knew they would be busted because drugs and drug paraphenalia were present at the party.

According to the Springfield News-Leader reporter Jackie Rehwald,  Beyersmith believes her son Craig may have died needlessly.  If someone had called 911 promptly or given Craig the opiod overdose antidote Narcan, quite possibly his life could have been saved.

Sadly, they chose to let their “friend” die rather than suffer jail time (although they may still be in jail at this time). Why?  Even a simple heroin possession charge in Missouri is a Class C felony.

What does a Class C felony mean to you?

It includes a potentional penalty of seven long years in jail and heavy fines.  If you get the minimum sentence of probation, you will need to complete a  drug treatment program, according to FindLaw.com.  http://statelaws.findlaw.com/missouri-law/missouri-heroin-laws.html

In real life, finding a good job is a slim chance with a Class C felony on your records.

In real life, you may have to move back in with Mom and Dad,  a kind friend, or face being homeless and jobless.

Real life can be very difficult to face!   Still, what could be worse than facing the haunting memory that you let someone die because you were afraid to call 911?

In August of 2017, the 911 Good Samaritan Law went into effect in Missouri. This law does not encourge drug use. Instead, it provides a way to cry for help if you or friends you are with have made poor choices involving drug possession.

How does this law intended to help in a situation like Craig’s? According to the News-Leader article here are some ways this new law helps.  http://www.news-leader.com/story/news/local/ozarks/2017/08/26/new-law-offers-some-legal-protection

  • For someone who calls 911 to report drug overdose emergencies, they will not be charged with drug possession or paraphenalia charges.
  • If someone administers Narcane to an overdose victim, then immediately calls 911 for help for the victim, they will not be charged with a crime.

The 911 Good Samaritan Law also applies not just to opiods but to any controlled substance, including alcohol.

Parents, do I hear a sigh of relief? Be aware! Be informed. Know your rights.

This allows for something we all need at one time or another:  a second chance at life.

If you or someone you love is facing drug charges in Missouri, you need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney!  You need a second chance, too — the best possible outcome!

Facing drug charges? Get a free initial legal consultaton. Find out how you or a loved one can get affordable, quality legal defense.  Get your second chance by calling The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC. 636-244-3737


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