If you or someone you know in Texas has struggled with a drug addiction, you know all too well just how challenging and heart wrenching this problem can be. All around the country, more and more people are starting to realize that addiction is a problem that needs to be addressed in new ways. Those ways may not always involve putting people in jail or prison after a drug-related arrest.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 3,000 people died due to drug overdoses in Texas in 2017 alone. Now, there are two bills making their way through the state legislature that address the problem of overdoses. The Statesman indicates these bills are similar to what many other states refer to as Good Samaritan laws.
In short, Good Samaritan laws provide people the opportunity to avoid criminal prosecution for a drug offense if they call to report an overdose at the time. Of the laws currently in place in 40 states and the District of Columbia, the provisions vary in the level of protection they offer. The proposed bills in Texas would be among some of the least protective but would still be a step forward. They would limit protection to first-time offenders accused of specific low-level offenses.
If you would like to learn more about how you or someone you love might get help when they are faced with a criminal charge related to drugs, please feel free to visit the illegal substance offenses page of our Texas criminal defense website.