What to do if I was arrested and denied my medication?

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What to do if I was arrested and denied my medication?

I was stopped at a check point and searched because the officers said they could smell marijuana. I am now being charged for Criminal Possession of Marijuana 4th Degree and Criminal Sale of Marijuana 4th Degree. At the checkpoint I informed the arresting officer that I was a Type-1 diabetic who is dependent on insulin. I was arraigned that night and booked at the county jail. I had $1700 cash on me from a legitimately paying welding job that was seized. While in custody, I was without insulin and my condition worsened. After being bailed out I went to the hospital ICU to be treated. The doctors said I could that have died.

Asked on July 13, 2013 under Personal Injury, New York

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You have a couple of different options.  The first is to lodge a complaint with the agency that arrested you for the denial of medication which almost resulting in your death.  This will not result in a cash settlement, but the agency may be willing to voluntarily return your $1700 because of issues associated with the complaint.

 

Your second option is to talk to a personal injury, civil rights,  and criminal defense attorney.  I recommend each type because you have overlapping issues which would require each type of expertise.  Some attorneys can do all, but many specialize in one or the other.  You need to discuss the denial of proper medical care with the personal injury and civil rights attorney.  You may have a claim for cruel and unusual punishment/treatment, especially since you could have died.  You need to discuss the criminal issues (like the seizure of your funds and any criminal charges) with the criminal attorney to make sure that procedures were correctly followed and that your rights pursuant to the rules of criminal procedure were not violated.  Checkpoints have been an area of controversy-- and if the agency did not have a proper checkpoint, you may be able to get the case thrown out. 

Many civil rights/personal injury attorneys will take cases on contingency.  Criminal attorneys usually want a fee up front-- but if you cannot afford the fee, make sure that you fill out an application for a court appointed attorney as soon as possible. 


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