Imagine having to make a choice about whether or not to phone the emergency services to save someone’s life because doing so might get you arrested.
It’s a situation many people find themselves in when faced with someone who has overdosed. Thanks to the opioid epidemic, it is happening even more frequently.
Good Samaritan laws can help alleviate this problem by allowing people to escape prosecution if they were arrested after calling the emergency services to save someone’s life. While some states have had them for a while, Texas only introduced one in 2022. However, its protection is much more limited than in most other states. Some would argue it is not a Good Samaritan law at all. Here is why
Not everyone is allowed to use this protection
If any of the following situations applies to you, you could still face charges if the police have reason to arrest you, despite the good deed you did:
- Somebody else already called 911 for the same incident
- You have a previous felony conviction
- You have called 911 before during the previous year and a half
- You have called to report an overdose during the previous year
- You have already used this protection once before in your life
If you feel you should be entitled to protection under Texas’ Good Samaritan Law, seek legal help to assess your situation. If you really cannot qualify, then there are still other defense options you may be able to use. Or perhaps your best bet is to try and persuade the judge to treat you with leniency because you tried to save someone’s life.