Title XII, Chapter 195, Section 195.205 provides immunity from liability for seeking or obtaining medical assistance for a drug overdose. In Missouri, a drug or alcohol related overdose includes, but is not limited to, extreme physical illness, decreased consciousness, delayed respiratory response, coma, or death resulting from over consumption of a controlled substance or alcohol requiring medical assistance. Further, medical assistance includes, but is not limited to, reporting a drug or alcohol related overdose or other medical emergency to law enforcement, a poison control center, or medical provider. Those who fall under the umbrella of this statute include, but is not limited to, a person in good faith seeking or obtaining medical assistance for someone other than themselves believed to be the victim of a drug or alcohol related overdose or the victim suffering from a drug or alcohol related overdose. These individuals shall not be arrested, charged, prosecuted, convicted, or have property subject to civil forfeiture or otherwise penalized if the evidence was gained as a result of seeking medical assistance.
Despite this newly enacted statute, oftentimes an unknowing prosecutor may still charge a person for possession under these circumstances. This law protects individuals who seek medical assistance for a drug or alcohol related overdose. It encourages individuals to seek medical assistance for themselves or friends without fear of being prosecuted for possession of drugs or even a minor in possession of alcohol.
If you or a loved one has fallen victim or believes to be a victim of drug related criminal charges, it is vital to contact a skilled criminal defense attorney who can evaluate the facts of your case. A successful defense may depend on the smallest piece of evidence alleged by the prosecution, such as immunity for seeking medical assistance in a drug related overdose.