Drug Crime in a School Zone Lawyer in San Diego
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Drug crimes have always been taken seriously in California, no matter where they occur. However, when you are arrested for a drug crime in a school zone, you face much more severe penalties. Laws pertaining to drug crimes in a school zone are intended to keep drugs out of the hands of children. Some argue that the boundaries of these “zones” are far too great, and they are causing people to suffer harsher sentences based on an arbitrary distance.
Anyone charged with a drug crime needs to speak to a San Diego drug crime lawyer as soon as possible. There are defenses for these crimes, and our experienced attorneys can provide them for you. Call (760) 630-2000 to schedule a free consultation with jD LAW, P.C.
Both state and federal laws provide harsher penalties for those convicted of a drug crime that occurs within a drug-free zone (DFZ). These are also known as drug-free school zones. In California, DFZs are considered to be within 1,000 feet of a school’s grounds.
Under the law, a school may include elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, youth centers, swimming pools, and playgrounds. Any location that may cater to anyone under the age of 18 can essentially be considered a DFZ.
How Sentence Enhancements Work
If you are convicted of any type of drug crime, such as possession or trafficking, you will be sentenced to high fines, and possibly time in jail. When a crime occurs just outside of a school zone, those sentences will be enhanced.
It is difficult to determine the severity of any sentence enhancements, as the penalties will depend on the crime that was initially committed. However, anyone found guilty of committing a drug crime in a DFZ may be required to pay up to twice the normal fee, and is subject to a minimum of one year in jail in addition to other penalties.
Employing Children to Sell or Distribute Drugs in a DFZ
One of the most common drug crimes committed in a DFZ is employing, or hiring, children to sell or distribute drugs within the drug-free zone. This may happen if someone is trying to sell drugs on a college campus, and wants someone else to transport the drugs or be otherwise involved in the crime.
Under this law, asking anyone under the age of 18 to carry drugs in an attempt to conceal the drugs is also illegal. Anyone convicted of this crime will also have his or her sentence enhanced, including imprisonment for no less than three years. Those convicted will also be subject to three times the amount of the initial fine.
Speak to a San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney Who Can Help
While being charged with a DFZ crime may seem hopeless, it is not. If you have been charged with this crime, contact jD LAW, P.C., today at (760) 630-2000. We will review your case, investigate the evidence to ensure your rights were upheld, and work harder and smarter to give you the best outcome possible. Attorney James N. Dicks is not only a board-certified criminal defense specialist, he’s also a former narcotics investigator with the LAPD.
When you have been charged with a drug crime, particularly one that involves enhanced sentencing such as a DFZ crime, let Attorney Dicks argue your case. It is your best chance of having the case dismissed, or the charges dropped even before going to trial.
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