Addiction is a medical illness that has been traditionally over prosecuted and over punished in the American criminal court system. Despite multiple studies confirming the negative impacts of criminalizing individual drug use, our lawmakers continue to resist real change. In 2014 Georgia tried to address one aspect of our nation’s criminalization of addiction by passing a Medical Amnesty Law. This blog explains when and how you are immune from prosecution under the Georgia Drug Overdose Law (O.C.G.A. 16-13-5). If the Georgia drug overdose law applies to your situation, call our office to schedule a consultation and discuss your options moving forward.
When does the Georgia Drug Overdose Law Apply?
O.C.G.A. 16-13-5 applies anytime a you seek medical assistance for a person experiencing, or believed to be experiencing an overdose. The law also covers people seeking medical assistance for themselves under the same circumstances.
What does the Georgia Drug Overdose Law Protect Me From?
O.C.G.A. 16-13-5 prevents police and prosecutors from arresting and charging you for any drug violation if evidence for that drug violation resulted solely from your effort to seek medical assistance.
Does the Georgia Drug Overdose Law Cover All Drugs?
Georgia’s Drug Overdose Law includes immunity from prosecution for possession of any controlled substances defined by O.C.G.A. 16-13-30, marijuana, and drug related objects.
You are immune from prosecution for possession of any controlled substances if the weight is less than four grams of a solid substance, or less than one milliliter of a liquid substance. You are also immune from prosecution for possession of marijuana when the total weight is less than one ounce. This law also protects you from prosecution for the possession of any drug related object.
What Should I Do If I Think I’m Immune From Prosecution Under This Law?
Contact a lawyer as soon as possible. Muneer Awad has years of experiencing defending clients accused of drug related crimes in State, Superior, and Federal Courts. Schedule a consultation with our office today to discuss your options and whether the charges you are facing can be dismissed under Georgia’s Drug Overdose Law.