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New York Penal - Article 220 - § 220.78 Witness or Victim of Drug or Alcohol Overdose

Legal Research Home > New York Laws > Penal > New York Penal - Article 220 - § 220.78 Witness or Victim of Drug or Alcohol Overdose


Penal 
 
  § 220.78 Witness or victim of drug or alcohol overdose.
    1.  A  person who, in good faith, seeks health care for someone who is
  experiencing a drug  or  alcohol  overdose  or  other  life  threatening
  medical  emergency  shall  not be charged or prosecuted for a controlled
  substance offense under  article  two  hundred  twenty  or  a  marihuana
  offense  under  article two hundred twenty-one of this title, other than
  an offense involving sale for consideration or other benefit or gain, or
  charged or prosecuted for possession of alcohol by a  person  under  age
  twenty-one  years  under  section sixty-five-c of the alcoholic beverage
  control law, or for  possession  of  drug  paraphernalia  under  article
  thirty-nine  of the general business law, with respect to any controlled
  substance, marihuana, alcohol or paraphernalia that was  obtained  as  a
  result of such seeking or receiving of health care.
    2.  A  person  who is experiencing a drug or alcohol overdose or other
  life threatening medical emergency and, in good faith, seeks health care
  for himself or herself or is the subject of such a  good  faith  request
  for  health  care,  shall  not be charged or prosecuted for a controlled
  substance offense under  this  article  or  a  marihuana  offense  under
  article  two  hundred  twenty-one  of  this title, other than an offense
  involving sale for consideration or other benefit or gain, or charged or
  prosecuted for possession of alcohol by a person  under  age  twenty-one
  years  under section sixty-five-c of the alcoholic beverage control law,
  or for possession of drug paraphernalia under article thirty-nine of the
  general business law, with respect to any substance, marihuana,  alcohol
  or  paraphernalia  that  was  obtained  as  a  result of such seeking or
  receiving of health care.
    3. Definitions. As used in this section the following terms shall have
  the following meanings:
    (a) "Drug or alcohol overdose" or "overdose" means an acute  condition
  including,  but  not limited to, physical illness, coma, mania, hysteria
  or death, which is the result of consumption  or  use  of  a  controlled
  substance  or  alcohol  and  relates  to  an  adverse reaction to or the
  quantity of the controlled substance or  alcohol  or  a  substance  with
  which  the controlled substance or alcohol was combined; provided that a
  patient's condition shall be deemed to be a drug or alcohol overdose  if
  a  prudent  layperson,  possessing  an average knowledge of medicine and
  health, could reasonably believe that the condition is in fact a drug or
  alcohol overdose and (except as to death) requires health care.
    (b) "Health care" means the professional services provided to a person
  experiencing a drug or alcohol overdose by a  health  care  professional
  licensed, registered or certified under title eight of the education law
  or article thirty of the public health law who, acting within his or her
  lawful  scope of practice, may provide diagnosis, treatment or emergency
  services for a person experiencing a drug or alcohol overdose.
    4. It shall be an affirmative defense to a  criminal  sale  controlled
  substance  offense  under  this  article or a criminal sale of marihuana
  offense under article two hundred twenty-one of this title, not  covered
  by  subdivision  one  or  two  of  this  section,  with  respect  to any
  controlled substance or marihuana which was obtained as a result of such
  seeking or receiving of health care, that:
    (a) the defendant, in good faith, seeks health care for someone or for
  him or herself who is experiencing a drug or alcohol overdose  or  other
  life threatening medical emergency; and
    (b)  the  defendant  has  no  prior  conviction  for the commission or
  attempted commission of a  class  A-I,  A-II  or  B  felony  under  this
  article.
    5. Nothing in this section shall be construed to bar the admissibility
  of  any evidence in connection with the investigation and prosecution of

  a crime with regard to another  defendant  who  does  not  independently
  qualify  for  the bar to prosecution or for the affirmative defense; nor
  with regard  to  other  crimes  committed  by  a  person  who  otherwise
  qualifies  under  this  section;  nor  shall anything in this section be
  construed to bar any seizure pursuant to law, including but not  limited
  to  pursuant  to section thirty-three hundred eighty-seven of the public
  health law.
    6. The bar to prosecution described in subdivisions  one  and  two  of
  this  section  shall  not apply to the prosecution of a class A-I felony
  under this article, and the affirmative defense described in subdivision
  four of this section shall not apply to the prosecution of a  class  A-I
  or A-II felony under this article.
Section:  Previous  220.46  220.48  220.50  220.55  220.60  220.65  220.70  220.71  220.72  220.73  220.74  220.75  220.76  220.77  220.78

Last modified: February 16, 2014