Illinois Law Protects Good Samaritans

Hardly a day goes by when one does not see a video, whether online or on TV news broadcasts, of a crime being committed or a person in distress. With just about every single person now equipped with a video camera as part of their cell phone, the possibility of catching one of these incidents on video becomes more and more likely. However, this phenomenon raises questions as to whether a bystander could face criminal charges or other legal action for failing to assist an accident or crime victim.

What are You Required to Do?

The possible scenarios that result from applying “Good Samaritan” laws and a person’s duty to render aid are truly numerous. From coming upon a car accident to shooting an intruder in your own home, the action (or inaction) you take next can have consequences. Listed here are a few examples applicable to this topic:

  • A person involved in a car accident is required, if physically able, to “render aid” to other injured parties. This can range from administering first aid to calling 9-1-1 for help. Failing to do so may result in a Class A Misdemeanor charge.
  • A witness to a car crash or other accident IS NOT legally required to render aid. However, beginning aid and then stopping, or providing bad or ill-advised help may result in some level of liability.
  • A gun owner who shoots another person, whether by accident or with intent, is required to call law enforcement and/or emergency services for help.
  • On a related note: Illinois does not have a “stand your ground” law. Therefore, if a homeowner, even one who possesses a Firearm Owners ID card and properly licensed weapon, shoots a person who was in their home uninvited, they may still face charges.
  • Doctors and other trained medical personnel are protected by the state’s Good Samaritan Act. This allows them to provide care, in good faith, without fear of legal or civil consequences.
  • Furthermore, an updated law signed in 2011 protects citizens trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and not just “certified rescuers,” against legal or civil action when providing a victim with responsible assistance.

Get Your Legal Advice from a Knowledgeable Will County Defense Attorney

Even the brightest minds can have difficulty understanding the nuances of law. An experienced and knowledgeable Illinois defense lawyer can help you understand the charges you face, inform you of your options for avoiding prosecution, and present various scenarios for mitigating possible sentences handed down by the court. The Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba reviews every detail of your case and creates a defense strategy suited to your specific experience.

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