If you’re a minor and in your home and someone thinks you have alcohol poisoning so they call 911 and you’re taken to the hospital, are the police allowed to charge you even if your life was in danger?

Asked on February 18, 2016 under Criminal Law, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, the police can charge you in this situation: if you are a minor and have alcohol poisoning, unless you were drugged against your will or without your knowledge, you're guilty of underage drinking. The fact that you were in a medical emergency does not give you the right to violate the law, or absolve you of the consequences of breaking the law. Similarly, if 911 is called because someone OD'd on heroin, he or she could be charged with drug use and possession.

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