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New Jersey man charged with child endangerment after overdose

New Jersey's Overdose Prevention Act shields people who have been revived from a drug overdose after a request was made for medical assistance from prosecution for certain drug offenses related to the overdose. Therefore, if a person has overdosed and emergency personnel come to the rescue following medical assistance being requested, that person will generally not be charged with drug crimes based on the incident. However, as one Ocean County man recently learned, this law does not protect you from being charged with other related crimes.

The 28-year-old man was visiting the apartment home of a friend and purportedly overdosed, prompting his friend to dial 911. Paramedics gave him a dose of Narcan, an opioid antidote, which probably saved his life. Even though he is accused of having had several packets of heroin in his possession at the time, he will not be facing any drug charges because he is protected by the above-mentioned law. But that is not the end of this man's story.

He is now being held in jail with bail set at $35,000 and facing charges of endangering the welfare of a child. Those charges stem from the fact that the man's two-year-old son was in his care when the incident occurred, and witnessed his father's resuscitation by emergency personnel. Thus, this man may still face serious consequences from the child endangerment charge.

Those who have been charged with drug offenses, or related crimes, should never make the mistake of taking the situation lightly. You have certain rights which must be protected. Consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney is a great first step in doing what you can to make sure that a small misstep doesn't negatively affect the rest of your life.

Source: Asbury Park Press, "After getting revived with Narcan, Manchester man charged with child endangerment," April 25, 2014

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