Salt Lake City, UT asked in Criminal Law for Utah

Q: Is the good samaritan law differ from someone calling for a well fare check, where the caller of the check is protected

I was sitting in my vehicle sleeping outside my ex-girlfriend’s house. I woke up and saw four police officers approaching the vehicle, one of the officers asked me to roll down my window. (I replied to him my car is turned off) He then asked me to get my keys and put in the ignition to roll down the window. So I did as he asked, he told me they were there because someone called in for a welfare check. He asked me to step out of the vehicle and performed a search on my myself and founds drugs in my pocket. After that an ambulance came and checked me out and cleared me say stating that I was fine. Then a different officer preformed a field sobriety test, which to my belief I passed, then he arrested me for possession and because I had a couple small warrants out. It wasn’t until we were sitting in his vehicle and he said he was waiting for a tow truck because he was charging me with a DUI. Then they took blood at the station, my lawyer is saying the prosecutor to drop it low than DWCM

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1 Lawyer Answer
Lance E. Bastian
Lance E. Bastian
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • Licensed in Utah

A: Utah's Good Samaritan Law is different from its welfare check provision, though based on the information you've given, neither appear to apply to this situation. The Good Samaritan Law has to do with a bystander rendering emergency medical aid at the scene of an accident, and it generally protects that person from civil liability. The welfare check provision in our drug enforcement statute is very specific to a situation in which someone is suffering an overdose, and a concerned party calls for medical aid. There are a list of requirements, but the long and short of it is if the concerned party gives sufficient information, stays at the scene or goes to the hospital to speak with law enforcement, fully cooperates, and was also using illegal drugs in the same course of events as the person who overdosed, that concerned party cannot be prosecuted for that drug use/possession. Depending on exactly what was said to prompt the welfare check here, as I said, neither provision appears to apply to your situation. All of that being said, there appear to be a number of potential issues with your interaction with law enforcement (again, depending on exactly what was reported and complicated by your having outstanding warrants), and I hope your attorney is looking into them.

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