School Zones

In Massachusetts, drug crimes which are in, on or within a certain amount of feet of certain schools, is a serious criminal offense. The drug crimes which carry an enhanced sentence if they are committed within a school zone are as follows: possession with intent to distribute or distribution, drug trafficking, possession with intent to distribute to minors, or possession of drug paraphernalia.

If a person is found guilty of any one of the following charges listed above and are (1) while in or on, or within three hundred (300 ft.) feet of property of a school and (2) the violation occurred between 5:00 a.m. and midnight, whether or not the school is in session, an individual may be charged under G. L. c. 94C, § 32J. Additionally, a person may be charged under this statute if they are within one hundred (100 ft.) feet of a public park or playground. If you or a loved one has been charged with a drug violation which occurred in a school zone, the individual faces serious penalties and an experienced Massachusetts Drug Crime Attorney is necessary for the best results possible. The prosecution must prove all of the elements of the crime above, beyond a reasonable doubt for an individual to be found guilty.

Drug Crimes in a School Zone Punishment

When a person is charged with a drug crime in a school zone, they face serious charges which carries a mandatory minimum sentence. Under the statute, a person faces imprisonment in state prison for at least two and one half (2 ½) years to fifteen (15) years or imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for at least two (2) years to two and one half (2 ½) years. The mandatory minimum sentence for an individual convicted under this statute is a 2 year sentence. Furthermore, the statute allows for a fine from one thousand ($1,000) dollars to up to ten thousand ($10,000) dollars. These sentences are imposed after the sentence of the underlying drug charge is expired. If you have been charged with violating the school zone law, it is vital that you contact a Boston Criminal Drug Lawyer immediately.

Information About Drug Crimes School Zone Violations

The courts do not care whether the person charged did not know what the boundaries were, where the school was located, or that the law exists. Also, the school must be one of the following:

  • Public or private accredited preschool
  • Elementary school
  • Middle school
  • High School
  • Vocational School
  • Secondary School
  • Accredited Headstart Facility
Aggravating Circumstances Under Drug Crimes in a School Zone

The following are considered aggravating circumstances under the drug crime in a school zone statute. If the court finds that a person charged under this statute did one of the following aggravating circumstance, the person is not eligible for parole. The aggravating circumstances are (1) if the defendant used violence or threats of violence during the crime; (2) possessed a firearm, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or other weapons during the offense; (3) engaged in conduct where the defendant directed the activities of another who committed a drug crime felony violation; (4) the offense was committed during or in an attempt to violate possession with intent to distribute to minor or (5) inducing or abetting a minor to distribute or sell controlled substances.

Defending Drug Crimes in a School Zone Violations

Anyone who has been arrested for a school zone violation in addition to a controlled substance violation needs an aggressive and experienced Massachusetts Criminal Drug Attorney who understands how the court views this offense and knows how to strategically defend school zone violations in connection with illegal substance violations. If you have been charged with violating the school zone law, it is vital that you contact a Boston Criminal Drug Lawyer immediately. Stephen Neyman has successfully represented clients arrested for school zone violations and won acquittals, had charges reduced, and had charges dismissed. The Law Offices of Stephen Neyman, P.C. is located in downtown Boston, and you can reach Attorney Neyman at 617 263 6800 or by sending an e-mail. Attorney Neyman has more than 25 years of experience in drug crimes defense. He is widely known as one of Boston’s best defense lawyers.