The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 17

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bodily injury due to a drug overdose;

(ii) the person provided his own name and location and
cooperated with the law enforcement officer, 911 system,
campus security officer or emergency services personnel;
and
(iii) the person remained with the person needing
immediate medical attention until a law enforcement
officer, a campus security officer or emergency services
personnel arrived.

(b) The prohibition on charging or prosecuting a person as
described in subsection (a) bars charging or prosecuting a
person for probation and parole violations and for violations of
section 13(a)(5), (16), (19), (31), (32), (33) and (37). 6
(c) Persons experiencing drug overdose events may not be
charged and shall be immune from prosecution as provided
in subsection (b) if a person who transported or reported and
remained with them may not be charged and is entitled to
immunity under this section.

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35 P.S. §780-113.7. As with seemingly every statute, practitioners
are anticipating our appellate court's interpretation of the law.
This statute was first addressed in part recently in Commonwealth
v. Carontenuto, 2016 Pa. Super. 197 (August 31, 2016).
In Carontenuto, the Defendant was a resident of a recovery
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of the house. The manager suspected that the Defendant had
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overdosed and called 9-1-1. Police responded and found the
Defendant discolored with an irregular pulse and breathing
pattern. The manager remained on the scene while the
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the Defendant was removed from the bathroom, police located
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syringes and heroin. The Defendant was charged with possession
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of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia
and later sought immunity under 35 P.S. §780-113.7 via a
ESHELMAN HAS ...
pre-trial motion. Id. at 1-2. The trial court found that the

Experience  Energy
immunity was applicable and dismissed the charges. Id. at 2. The
 Enthusiasm
Commonwealth appealed. Id. at 3.
On appeal, the Commonwealth did not argue that the
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conditions set forth in 35 §780-113.7(a)(2) were not established.
Instead, the Commonwealth argued that since there was no
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evidence that the manager who reported the overdose event
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was at risk of being charged, the Defendant-the person
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experiencing the overdose event-could not claim immunity.
That is because, the Commonwealth argued, the person
experiencing the overdose event derives their immunity in 35
the manager who reported the overdose event, the Defendant
§780-113.7(c) from the person reporting the overdose event.
who experienced the overdose event derived the immunity.
Since the person who reported the overdose event did not require
Id. at 4.
immunity, there was no immunity to be derived. Id. at 3-4.
The decision of the Superior Court seems to be in line with
In affirming the lower court and finding the immunity
furthering the policy behind Act 139 of 2014. The immunity
applicable, the Superior Court held that there is no probable
statute is only one part of this Act which has a clear goal:
cause requirement for the immunity to apply. Regardless of
reduce drug overdose deaths in Pennsylvania. In interpreting
whether the Commonwealth believed there was evidence to
the immunity provision in this manner, the Superior Court has
prosecute the manager or not, it simply could not because the
furthered this goal as it makes it more likely overdose events will
immunity was applicable. Since the immunity was applicable to
be medically addressed.
Continued on page 18
Each Office Independently Owned and Operated

6

Sections reference various possessory and delivery charges under the Drug Act.

Winter 2017 | 17


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Berks Barrister Winter 2017

The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 1
The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 2
The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 3
The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 4
The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 5
The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 6
The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 7
The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 8
The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 9
The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 10
The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 11
The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 12
The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 13
The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 14
The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 15
The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 16
The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 17
The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 18
The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 19
The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 20
The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 21
The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 22
The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 23
The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 24
The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 25
The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 26
The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 27
The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 28
The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 29
The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 30
The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 31
The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 32
The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 33
The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 34
The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 35
The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 36
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The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 38
The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 39
The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 40
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