Drug Charges in a School Zone
Brockton Drug Crimes Criminal Defense Attorneys
If a drug arrest takes place within 1,000 feet of a school zone then an additional charge of selling in a school zone will be added to the arrest. These charges carry stiff penalties that usually result in a prison sentence. The Controlled Substance Act under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 94C deals with drug crimes in Massachusetts.
In order to get a conviction for possession in a school zone the prosecution needs to prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The defendant has been found guilty of the underlying charge (guilty of manufacturing, distributing, using, or possessing with intent to manufacture, distribute a Class A, B, C, D, or E narcotic or drug paraphernalia with intent to sell);
- The above crime was committed either (a) within 300 feet of a public or private elementary, vocational or secondary school between 5:00 a.m. and midnight regardless of whether or not school is in session; or (b) within 100 feet of a park or play ground; and
- During the commission used violence, threats of violence or possessed a firearm or to a minor or induced a minor to distribute or sell controlled substances
The defendant will be charge with this offense even if they did not know that the school was there. So the defendant doesn’t need to be aware of the fact that he or she was in a school zone. (lack of knowledge of the school zone/boundaries is not a defense). The 1,000 feet are to be measured in a straight line from the location of the observed drug activity to the nearest property boundary of the school even if that straight line travels over trees, through backyards or over houses.
This law was enacted to protect children from drug use and to create a drug free school zone. The school zone law carries strict criminal penalties and anyone guilty of violating this charge faces imprisonment in a state prison for a minimum of 2.5 years up to a maximum of 15 years in a state prison or a minimum imprisonment in the house of corrections for 2 years up to a maximum of 2 ½ years and a minimum fine of $1,000 up to $10,000.
Former Massachusetts Assistant District Attorney You Can Count On For an Aggressive Legal Defense Against Drug Charges
The criminal defense lawyers of The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan take our clients’ criminal charges very seriously. You can count on us for an aggressive legal defense against misdemeanor and felony drug charges.
Attorney Noonan was an Assistant District Attorney for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for many years. He has criminal trial experience on both sides of a criminal case, which is invaluable when you are looking for an attorney to represent you.
Call Our Drug Crimes Defense Attorneys Today To Schedule Your Free Consultation
Our knowledgeable and experienced Massachusetts School Zone Drug Possession Defense Attorneys at The Law Offices of Gerald J Noonan are available to assist clients throughout all of Massachusetts, including but not limited to Plymouth County including Brockton, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Hingham, Wareham, Middleboro; Norfolk County including Quincy, Stoughton, Dedham, Weymouth, Braintree, Randolph, Canton, Sharon, Brookline, Franklin; Bristol County including New Bedford, Fall River, Taunton, Wrentham, Attleboro, Mansfield, Easton, Raynham; and Middlesex County including Cambridge, Lowell, Somerville, Newton, Woburn, Framingham, Malden, Chelsea, Everett, Arlington, Medford and Waltham; Cape Cod, Barnstable, Falmouth and Worcester; Essex County including Lynn, Lawrence and Salem; and the Greater Boston area including South Boston, Revere, Dorchester and Roxbury.
No matter where you are located, we are just a phone call away. Call us to schedule a free no-obligation case review and consultation at (508) 588-0422 and you will have taken your first step to find out how best to confront this important matter. You can also click here to use our Free Case Evaluation Form.