Being charged with drug distribution or possession is a serious crime in Massachusetts, and one that can result in large fines and even potential prison time—sometimes for years—depending on the severity of the offense. If you are found to be in possession of drugs or trafficking drugs in a school or park zone, the offense is even more serious. At The Law Office of Paul R. Moraski, our Massachusetts drug defense attorney can help you if you are facing drug charges with a school and park zone violation. Reach out to our lawyer today for a consultation about your legal rights.
What Is a School and Park Zone Violation in Massachusetts?
When a defendant has been charged with trafficking or distributing drugs and there is evidence that the crime occurred within 300 feet of a public or private school, or within 100 feet of a park or playground, they may face an additional charge: drug violation near a school or drug violation in a park zone. These offenses, found in Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 94C, Section 32J, apply to anyone who is convicted of distributing, possessing with intent to distribute, or trafficking a controlled substance. Sale of paraphernalia can also result in additional school and park zone violations.
Penalties for a School and Park Zone Violation
School and park zone violations are taken very seriously in Massachusetts. If a defendant is found guilty of a school or park zone violation, they will face a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in jail, in addition to fines and fees.
Defending Yourself Against School and Park Zone Violations
If you are facing additional charges for a school or park zone violation, it’s important to work with an attorney as soon as possible. Some potential defenses might include:
- Lack of evidence to prove your proximity to the school or park in question.
- Lack of school or public park—for example, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court heard a case in which the defense argued that because the “park” in question was not maintained and because the soil was contaminated, the area could not be considered a park. While the court disagreed in this case, being able to prove that the area was not a park or school based on current definitions may be important for your case.
- Lack of evidence to prove the underlying and original drug crime.
Get the Legal Help You Need Today
At The Law Office of Paul R. Moraski, our Massachusetts criminal defense attorney recognizes what you’re going through and how fearful you may be when facing drug charges plus additional charges for a school or park zone violation. To get the legal help you need and the superior legal defense you deserve, call The Law Office of Paul R. Moraski directly at (978) 397-0011. Our law firm will advocate for you when you need it most.