Jon Bon Jovi's 19-year-old daughter Stephanie Bongiovi will no longer have to face drug charges following her recent arrest at Hamilton College because of a New York State law amendment that offers an exemption from criminal prosecution if an emergency call was made to report an overdose.
The incident occurred early on Wednesday. Police were called to a residence hall to investigate a report about a woman who had suffered an apparent heroin overdose. Bongiovi was taken to a hospital. Officers later found heroin and marijuana in a dorm room and arrested her and a 21-year-old male student named Ian S. Grant, who had made the emergency call.
Both were charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the seventh degree, a misdemeanor, and later released. Bongiovi was also charged with Criminal Possession of Marijuana in the fourth degree and with Criminally Using Drug Paraphernalia. On Thursday, charges against both students were dropped, Oneida County DA Scott D. McNamara said, according to the Syracuse Post-Standard.
In 2011, the New York State Assembly passed an amendment to the penal law that exempts from criminal prosecution a person who calls for help themselves after experiencing "a drug or alcohol overdose or other life threatening medical emergency" as well as any witness who "in good faith," seeks health care for someone else in such a situation.
The victims and witnesses involved would therefore not be charged, prosecuted or convicted for possession of drugs and paraphernalia as well as several alcohol-related offenses, although this not include drug trafficking or "interference with law enforcement protocols to secure the scene of an overdose," the amendment states.
McNamara called it the "Good Samaritan section" of the law, the Syracuse Post-Standard quoted him as saying.
He added that "Grant was the one who requested help from college security" about Bongiovi and that "By law, we cannot prosecute either of these two individuals."
Bon Jovi has not commented about his daughter's ordeal. She is his eldest child. He and wife Dorothea have three younger sons.