Florida Senate - 2012 SB 278 By Senator Sachs 30-00340-12 2012278__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to preventing deaths from drug-related 3 overdoses; providing a short title; creating s. 4 893.21, F.S.; providing that a person acting in good 5 faith who seeks medical assistance for an individual 6 experiencing a drug-related overdose may not be 7 charged, prosecuted, or penalized for specified 8 offenses in certain circumstances; providing that a 9 person who experiences a drug-related overdose and 10 needs medical assistance may not be charged, 11 prosecuted, or penalized for specified offenses in 12 certain circumstances; providing that the protections 13 from prosecution for specified offenses are not 14 grounds for suppression of evidence in other 15 prosecutions; amending s. 921.0026, F.S.; amending 16 mitigating circumstances under which a departure from 17 the lowest permissible criminal sentence is reasonably 18 justified to include circumstances in which a 19 defendant was making a good faith effort to obtain or 20 provide medical assistance for an individual 21 experiencing a drug-related overdose; providing an 22 effective date. 23 24 WHEREAS, some research suggests that in a majority of cases 25 of fatal drug overdose another person was aware of or present 26 during the decedent’s fatal drug use and that in one-third of 27 the cases someone recognized the decedent’s distress, and 28 WHEREAS, many people cite fear of police involvement or 29 fear of arrest as their primary reason for not seeking immediate 30 help for a person thought to be experiencing a drug overdose, 31 and 32 WHEREAS, it is in the public interest to encourage a person 33 who is aware of or present during another individual’s drug 34 overdose to seek medical assistance for that individual, NOW, 35 THEREFORE, 36 37 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 38 39 Section 1. This act may be cited as the “911 Good Samaritan 40 Act.” 41 Section 2. Section 893.21, Florida Statutes, is created to 42 read: 43 893.21 Drug-related overdoses; medical assistance; immunity 44 from prosecution.— 45 (1) A person acting in good faith who seeks medical 46 assistance for an individual experiencing a drug-related 47 overdose may not be charged, prosecuted, or penalized pursuant 48 to this chapter for possession of a controlled substance if the 49 evidence for possession of a controlled substance was obtained 50 as a result of the person’s seeking medical assistance. 51 (2) A person who experiences a drug-related overdose and is 52 in need of medical assistance may not be charged, prosecuted, or 53 penalized pursuant to this chapter for possession of a 54 controlled substance if the evidence for possession of a 55 controlled substance was obtained as a result of the overdose 56 and the need for medical assistance. 57 (3) Protection in this section from prosecution for 58 possession offenses under this chapter may not be grounds for 59 suppression of evidence in other criminal prosecutions. 60 Section 3. Paragraph (n) is added to subsection (2) of 61 section 921.0026, Florida Statutes, to read: 62 921.0026 Mitigating circumstances.—This section applies to 63 any felony offense, except any capital felony, committed on or 64 after October 1, 1998. 65 (2) Mitigating circumstances under which a departure from 66 the lowest permissible sentence is reasonably justified include, 67 but are not limited to: 68 (n) The defendant was making a good faith effort to obtain 69 or provide medical assistance for an individual experiencing a 70 drug-related overdose. 71 Section 4. This act shall take effect October 1, 2012.