Can You Be Arrested for Overdosing on Drugs in Texas?
Denton criminal lawyer helps you fight charges after call for help
As the drug problem continues to grow, the number of fatal overdoses is also rising. Twenty-four states and the District of Columbia have passed so-called Good Samaritan laws that provide immunity to those calling for medical help when they or a friend are overdosing on drugs. Some people can still face charges for things like selling or trafficking in drugs, depending on the amount of drugs present and the circumstances surrounding the overdose. But a person calling to report his own overdose won’t be charged for simple possession, and a person calling to report another person’s overdose won’t be charged for possession if he stays to cooperate with authorities.
Texas has no such law. If you call to report an overdose in Texas, whether for yourself or someone else, you can face charges under Texas drug laws. If you sell or provide drugs to somone, or you help them take the drugs, and that person dies of suffers serious bodily injury, you can also be charged with their death or injury. Such charges carry enhanced penalties, and the sentence cannot run concurrently with any other sentence. Brent D. Bowen, attorney at law, is an experienced Denton criminal lawyer who helps defend those facing drug charges after an overdose, or in other circumstances. He fights to help clients keep their records free of drug charges or to get their sentences minimized.
Texas drug possession laws
The Texas Controlled Substances Act imposes severe punishments for possession of illegal drugs, including prescription medications obtained illegally and harder drugs like cocaine and heroin. The punishment depends on the type of substance, whether you are convicted of possessing it or selling it, and how much you have. Possession of drug paraphernalia, the method for storing or concealing the drugs, and former drug convictions can also make your penalties more severe.
Here are examples of some minimum punishments:
- Up to 180 days in jail and up to a $2,000 fine for possession of a Marijuana or dangerous drugs (Maximum punishment is life in prison and fine of $250,000)
- 180 days to two years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000 for possession a controlled substance or manufacture of delivery of small amounts of controlled substances.
- Three to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000 for driving while intoxicated
These are only minimums. You can face many more years in prison and much larger fines and other penalties, depending on the circumstances of the case. So, if you call in for an overdose, but you are found to have a large amount of drugs in your possession, you can be sentenced to many years in prison after being treated and released. If you conceal or dispose of the drugs, that is considered tampering with evidence and is punishable of 2 to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
You need an experienced Denton drug crimes lawyer like Brent D. Bowen to defend you to minimize your risk of jail time and fines. We work hard to keep our clients out of jail and to keep drug charges off their record. A poor decision shouldn’t ruin your life, and if you have a serious drug problem, you need help, not jail time.
What are the defenses against drug charges in Texas?
Fortunately, you have many defenses against your drug charges, and your Denton criminal lawyer will explore the best options for the circumstances of your case to help you beat the charges or minimize the punishment. Some possible defenses include:
- Ignorance of the person who overdosed being in possession of a controlled substances (not applicable if you were the one who overdosed)
- Possession of a drug for which there is a new drug application with the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act or for which there is an approved investigational use under the agency
- The defendant has a prescription for the drug being used
- Insufficient quantity of the drug for prosecution, (however in Denton County you can be charged for trace amounts illegal drugs)
Your attorney, Brent D. Bowen, will determine the best strategy for your defense for the greatest chances of success. He will work with a team of investigators, eyewitnesses, and experts to provide information on what happened in your case and the impact it had. The goal is to exonerate you of the charges or to have your sentence minimized or even commuted to treatment instead. You shouldn’t be punished for doing the right thing and getting the appropriate medical treatment for yourself or others in an overdose.
Experienced Denton criminal attorney develops an aggressive defense to protect you from a drug conviction
You shouldn’t fear reprisal for calling in an overdose, whether you are trying to get help for yourself, or a friend. If you find yourself facing drug charges after calling in a drug overdose, call Brent D. Bowen, an experienced Denton drug lawyer at (940) 222-2488 or use the secure online form to schedule a consultation. Attorney Bowen is dedicated to providing the best defense possible to help you.