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School Zones

The 2018 Criminal Justice Reform Act, which went into effect in April 2018, significantly amended the school zone violation pertaining to drug crimes. The Act essentially eliminated school zone violations except in very specific and limited circumstances.

The drug crimes which carry an enhanced sentence if they are committed within a school zone remain the same and 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 was within three hundred (300 ft.) feet of property of a school and the violation occurred between 5:00 a.m. and midnight, whether or not the school is in session or within one hundred (100 ft.) feet of a public park or playground they may be charged under G.L. c. 94C § 32J IF the offense involved one of the following:

  • the use of violence, threats of violence or possession of a firearm, shotgun or weapon as defined by G.L. c. 269 § 10(b) or induced another to do so; OR
  • engaging in conduct directing the activities of another to violate drug laws; OR
  • selling drugs to a minor or inducing minors to sell drugs.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a drug violation which occurred in a school zone and involved one of the specified actions listed above, 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 carry 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
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 the new laws, how the court views these offenses, and 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.