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Drug Distribution in a School Zone

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William A ProettaReviewsout of 30 reviews Keith G OliverReviewsout of 55 reviews

Somerset County NJ Drug Distribution in a School Zone Lawyer

The fact that the legislature choose to create an additional charge to cover this narrow situation should be a sign of how serious they take this type of offense. As you will see below, this offense will be in addition to the standard drug distribution charge that a Defendant is normally charged with. It is also important to note here that the fact that the school was not in operation at the time of the individuals arrest will not be a defense to this charge. Regardless of a Defendant’s prior criminal history, this specific offense falls under what is known as Brimage. Brimge are guidelines that were put into place in order to create uniformity within the state when it came to drug distribution cases in different counties. It basically mandates that anyone convicted of distributing drugs within a school zone must not only be sentenced to a term of imprisonment but the term must also include a parole ineligibility period as well. Furthermore, the prosecution now has the ability to seek to detain a Defendant charged with this type of offense in the Somerset County jail, without bail, pending trial. To do so, the prosecution must file for a Detention Hearing.  For more information on Detention Hearings, please call us at 908.533.1064 or use our online contact form to schedule a consultation.

If you have been accused of the distribution of drugs in a school zone, the possession of heroin, the possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, the possession of cocaine or any other drug related offense for that matter in Somerset County, it is essential that you speak to a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your options. The criminal attorneys at Proetta & Oliver are prepared to fight your charges. We will aggressively attack the evidence presented against our clients in order to obtain a favorable outcome. We appear in courtrooms throughout Somerset and Hunterdon County, including Clinton, Readington, Raritan, Green Brook, Bridgewater, Flemington, Somerville, Branchburg, Bound Brook and Manville. Call us now to discuss the facts of your case.

School Zone Offenses in Hunterdon County NJ

Anyone alleged to have distributed, possessed with the intent to distribute or manufactured drugs in a school zone will be charged under NJSA 2C:35-7. A “school zone” is basically any area that is within 1,000 feet of a school property or a school bus.  A “school” is any property which is used for school purposes and is owned by or leased to an elementary school, secondary or school board. When it comes to defending these types of charges one area to look to exploit is did the offense actually happen in a school zone. If it did, another key area to look to exploit is whether or not the “school property” actually falls under the definition of a school zone. According to State v. Ivory, when it comes to determining what qualifies as a school zone, one must look to see if “the property is regularly, consistently, and actually used for school purposes, and whether the property’s appearance would give an objectively reasonable person reason to know that it was used regularly, consistently, and actually for school purposes.” So, as you can see, determining what in fact qualifies as a school zone and whether or not the Defendant was actually in a school zone is anything but straightforward. That is why if you or a loved one has been charged with distributing drugs in a school zone in New Jersey, we strongly recommend that you speak to an experienced attorney as soon as possible. To schedule a free consultation today with one of the members of Proetta & Oliver, please contact us at 908.533.1064.

Jail time for School Zone Offenses 

Anyone alleged to have been distributing a controlled dangerous substance, whether it be cocaine, heroin, marijuana, MDMA, Xanax, LSD, Steroids or any other drug for that matter will be facing a third degree felony offense. A third degree felony is punishable by up to five years in a state prison and a $150,000 fine. Furthermore, a term of imprisonment as well as a parole ineligibility period shall be imposed. The parole ineligibility period shall be fixed at, or between, 1/3 and 1/2 of the sentence imposed or three years, whichever is greater.  However, if the Defendant is caught selling 1/2 ounce or less of marijuana, the parole ineligibility period shall be fixed at, or between, 1/3 and 1/2 of the sentence imposed or one year, whichever is greater. With that being said, the term of incarceration and/or the parole ineligibility period can be reduced or waived. In order for that to occur, the Judge must taken into consideration specific factors enumerated in NJSA 2C:35-7b(1). For more information on these factors, please feel free to contact our Bridgewater office 908.533.1064.

Bound Brook Marijuana Distribution in School Zone Lawyer

As you can see, New Jersey takes this crime very seriously. The potential penalties that someone faces if convicted of this type offense are life changing. If you have been charged with distributing heroin, possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute, distributing cocaine in a school zone or any other offense for that matter in Somerset or Hunterdon County, Proetta & Oliver can help. We appear in courts throughout the counties, including Readington, North Plainfield, Watchung, Green Brook, Manville, Bedminster, Bernards, Hillsborough, South Bound Brook, Franklin and Somerville. If you would like to schedule a consultation today, then please contact us at 908.533.1064.