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Ask Meigs Your Own Question
Meigs
Meigs, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1346
Experience:  I have multiple years experience prosecuting and defending clients.
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A few weekends ago I was outside my house, ready to walk in

Resolved Question:

A few weekends ago I was outside my house, ready to walk in when police stopped me due to the fact that I was intoxicated. I am 21 years old and was not a danger to anyone or doing anything illegal, I was simply drunk waiting to open the door of my home. However the policeman decided I was too drunk to be myself. They had me call my boyfriend but said he was also too drunk to be with me so they called an ambulance to take me to the hospital. I refused to go. I was crying and begging them to just let me go in my house but they were quite rude and would not have it. They transported me to the ambulance where I then refused treatment at the hospital but was still taken into a room to check my vitals. Recently I received a bill in the mail for both the ambulance and the ER visit. Am I liable for these charges or can I fight them? Does my constitutional right to refuse medical treatment hold up in a situation of intoxication? If I can fight it can I press further charges against the city for emotional and physical distress? They embarrassed me, put me in restraints, and were extremely rough with me.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Meigs replied 5 years ago.

meigs004 :

Hello, I can assist you with this question.

meigs004 :

Allow me to post my standard blurb about accepting answers here on JA.

meigs004 :


If at anytime you feel that I have adequately provided you with an answer to your question, then if you would please click the accept button so that I may be compensated for my work that would be very much appreciated. Also, bonuses are optional, and are certainly not required, but very much appreciated. Remember, clicking the accept button does not prevent you from asking further questions on this post, and will not preclude me from continuing to answer your questions and provide you with research. There is no Attorney-Client relationship created by our communications and the advice and information that I provide is merely for informational purposes. The advice that I provide is not to be taken over the advice of a competent attorney within your jurisdiction.


Customer:

I do not see that you have provided me with an answer at all.

meigs004 :

I havent at this juncture.

meigs004 :

I was waiting for you to return to the chat

meigs004 :

Allow me to read the facts that you have provided so that I may more closely understand your situation.

Customer:

Thank you

meigs004 :

This is a very unique situation. Did they every issue a citation for Public Intoxication or any like charges?

Customer:

No they did not. I don't think that they could have, I was on my property which I would think would not constitute as public?

Customer:

I live in a college town and police often tend to go up to clearly intoxicated students and issue an MIP. I am not sure if they thought that I was not 21 so that is why they they came up to me in the first place, and then once they realized I was still wanted to punish me somehow?

meigs004 :

Right. I will represent to you that you are liable for the medical charges for the ambulance and ER. Even though you involuntarily were submitted to the medical treatment, I can assure you that the police department or the city will not offer to pay them. However, if you consult a civil attorney in your jurisdiction, he/she could file a complaint against the police department and the city for the distress you describe. Also, as part of the suit, he/she could ask for reimbursement of the medical expenses that you incurred from your visit to the hospital.

meigs004 :

However, the police also have an obligation or duty to protect the citizens. So the benefit of doubt lies with them. But it appears to me from the facts you have presented, that you were already safely home. That you were getting to reenter your house, and posed no threat to the public.

Customer:

Are police allowed to transport you to the hospital against your will? I was trying to do some research online and I thought I understood that one has the right to refuse medical transportation (the ambulance) and also medical treatment as given by the Supreme Court as a constitutional right.

meigs004 :

That is true but that decision can only be made by someone with the ability to make that decision. Meaning, the fact that you were intoxicated, prevented you from being able to assert that right. They reasonably believed you were intoxicated, and required you to go the hospital.

Customer:

I see. And that also applies to treatment in the ER?

meigs004 :

Since you have recieved the medical bills it is better to pay them so they will not be submitted to collections. If you intend on filing suit against the police dept. and the city you can defnitely ask for them back as part of your relief.

meigs004 :

Correct.

Customer:

I also read that in order for an ER to hold you against their will they must file a section 12A. If they did not do this did they then not have the right to keep me there and could that be grounds to dispute the charges?Or the fact that I did not sign a consent form?

meigs004 :

Potentially yes. I am not familiar with the section 12A form. But I have heard of similar forms. If you contact the billing department at the hospital about that claim they may be able to assist you or cancel the charges.

meigs004 :

Do you have any other questions for me this evening.

meigs004 :

I will be happy to assist you with any other questions that you might have.

Customer:

thank you i think that is all the questions i have

meigs004 :

Ok thank you. If you would please click the accept button so that I may be compensated that would be great.

meigs004 :

Good Luck!

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