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Why Arizona Needs 911 Good Samaritan Laws

By:
Armando Nava

In June of 2017, Governor Doug Ducey declared a state of emergency concerning the number of opioid-related deaths in Arizona. 911 Good Samaritan laws are a common sense measure that could have saved an estimated 100 Arizona lives last year alone. This week, Governor Ducey called a special session of the Arizona Senate to pass laws related to his plan to reduce opioid abuse and overdose.

What is a 911 Good Samaritan Law?

Forty states have Good Samaritan laws that protect people who call 911 from facing prosecution for drug possession. Drug users fear calling for help during a medical emergency because they know they could be arrested and charged with a crime. In Washington State, 88% of drug users surveyed reported they were more likely to call for help knowing they would be shielded from prosecution under the state’s Good Samaritan law.  

Stop Criminalizing Drug Users

Advocates mainly focus on how 911 Good Samaritan laws save lives during overdose events, in which every moment counts. The faster EMTs arrive and administer treatment, the better the chances of survival. Laws that increase access to naloxene have been passed in all 50 states; in Arizona, specially trained pharmacists can prescribe naloxene and EMTs are allowed to administer it at the scene of an overdose. However, EMTs can only prevent overdose deaths if they are called to the scene in the first place.  

In an op-ed in the Arizona Capitol Times, a former police officer recalls witnessing the death of a 16-year-old girl during his involvement in a sting operation. He describes how police officers on a mission to find and arrest drug dealers will often threaten low-level drug offenders with charges that carry harsh sentences, in order to get them to “snitch.” It’s no wonder drug users leave their friends in a moment of crisis, influenced at least as much by fear as by the drug itself. Protecting users who call 911 from facing arrest would certainly save lives and keep more low-level drug offenders out of prison.  

Good Samaritan laws are a step in the right direction of treating drug abuse as a public health issue. If you have been charged with possession of drugs and/or paraphernalia in Arizona, contact Nava Law for a free consultation at 602-358-0288. And if you need help overcoming drug abuse or addiction, the Governor’s office provides a list of drug treatment and recovery centers near you. You can get help before you get caught up in the criminal justice system.

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PROVEN CASE RESULTS:
DUIDUI DrugsAggravated AssaultTheftResist ArrestDomestic ViolenceMurder
Actuation:
Second in time DUI
Arizona desert outside phoenix, Sonoran Desert
Case Result:
Charge reduced with no jail

Woman was charged with her second DUI within 7 years after being involved in a collision in Scottsdale. Through our investigation, we found multiple mistakes made by the arresting officer. These errors were used      to get the prosecution to reduce the alleged offense to a charge with no jail time.

Actuation:
DUI Drugs (Marijuana)
Case Result:
Case Dismissed

A black man was pulled over by Salt River Police Department while visiting from out of town. Despite showing no signs of impairment, the officers arrested him and charged him with DUI Drugs. We investigated the case heavily and interviewed every officer involved. Ultimately, a motion to suppress was filed and granted after an evidentiary hearing before a Judge.

Actuation:
Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon
Case Result:
Reduced to a misdemeanor

Short Description: A man was charged with attacking a family with a knife. After reviewing the evidence, it was determined that the instrument used was not a knife at all. The Grand Jury had been misled, so we filed a motion challenging the grand jury presentation. The prosecutor, confronted with the truth, agreed to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor with no jail time.

Actuation:
Second in time DUI
Case Result:
Charge reduced with no jail

Woman was charged with her second DUI within 7 years after being involved in a collision in Scottsdale. Through our investigation, we found multiple mistakes made by the arresting officer. These errors were used      to get the prosecution to reduce the alleged offense to a charge with no jail time.

Actuation:
Theft of Means of Transportation
Case Result:
Not Guilty after jury trial

A man was out on a walk and was stopped by police because he was in the area of an attempted vehicle theft. The man maintained his innocence, but the owner of the truck identified him as the man he saw attempt to steal it. We worked tirelessly to prepare a defense and get the prosecution to see reason. The State wouldn’t budge, so the case went to trial. After a 4 day trial, the jury took approximately 10 minutes to return a Not Guilty verdict.

Actuation:
Second in time DUI
Case Result:
Charge reduced with no jail

Woman was charged with her second DUI within 7 years after being involved in a collision in Scottsdale. Through our investigation, we found multiple mistakes made by the arresting officer. These errors were used      to get the prosecution to reduce the alleged offense to a charge with no jail time.

Actuation:
Resist Arrest
Case Result:
Dismissed

A client was charged with resist arrest after being targeted by police during the protests of Summer 2020. Our firm developed a strategy with activists and members of the media that led to a dismissal of out client’s case and, eventually, all cases connected to the political prosecution of the protesters. (Maybe link to some of the cases?)

Actuation:
Second in time DUI
Case Result:
Charge reduced with no jail

Woman was charged with her second DUI within 7 years after being involved in a collision in Scottsdale. Through our investigation, we found multiple mistakes made by the arresting officer. These errors were used      to get the prosecution to reduce the alleged offense to a charge with no jail time.

Actuation:
Assault & Disorderly Conduct – Domestic Violence
Case Result:
Dismissal after Diversion

A woman and her boyfriend were arguing over the cleaning of their apartment. The police were called after things escalated and the woman was arrested. The Mesa City Prosecutors originally wanted the woman to do jail time. After working the case and providing background information, we were able to get the prosecutor to allow the woman to complete classes in exchange for a dismissal.

Actuation:
Second in time DUI
Case Result:
Charge reduced with no jail

Woman was charged with her second DUI within 7 years after being involved in a collision in Scottsdale. Through our investigation, we found multiple mistakes made by the arresting officer. These errors were used      to get the prosecution to reduce the alleged offense to a charge with no jail time.

Actuation:
Second in time DUI
Case Result:
Charge reduced with no jail

We have experience managing violent cases that fall under the categories of murder and manslaughter. Out of respect for all Nava Law Firm clients that fall under this case type, we are not providing any information on our website. If you or a loved one have been charged with one of these serious charges, do not speak to police officers and please contact our firm immediately to get a free consultation.

Actuation:
Second in time DUI
Case Result:
Charge reduced with no jail

Woman was charged with her second DUI within 7 years after being involved in a collision in Scottsdale. Through our investigation, we found multiple mistakes made by the arresting officer. These errors were used      to get the prosecution to reduce the alleged offense to a charge with no jail time.