The state of New Jersey tends to be strict when it comes to drug crimes. Possession or distribution of drugs in New Jersey can land you a criminal record and even jail time. If you are charged with a drug crime while in a school zone, then you could be met with even stricter of legal consequences.
New Jersey Drug Laws
Distribution of drugs refers to the sale, or trafficking, of illegal drugs. This could include intentionally trying to sell drugs or trafficking drugs across state lines. The legal consequences of drug distribution in New Jersey depend on the type of drug and how much was in possession, at the time of the arrest.
However, potential legal consequences could include:
- Jail time
- Mandatory probation or parole
- Community service
- Legal fees
Additionally, convicted individuals may have to deal with a criminal record. This can make it difficult to find employment or certain types of housing.
Drug Laws in a School Zone
The same legal consequences that can already be considered strict, can be even more severe when the crime is committed in a school zone. Distribution in a school zone is considered another offense. Individuals may be charged in addition to the original drug charges they are dealing with.
Other legal consequences might include:
- Mandatory jail time (First-degree charges: 10-20 years in prison, Second-degree charges: 5-10 years in prison, third-degree charges: 0-5 years in prison)
- Ineligibility for parole
In many cases, New Jersey requires a minimum three-year jail sentence for drug distribution or dispensing, in a school zone. These laws cover drug charges that occur within 1,000-feet of a school property or other type of school location, like near a bus.
What to Do If You’re Dealing with Drug Charges in a School Zone
Dealing with drug charges on their own can be overwhelming enough. But, because the legal consequences when in a school zone tend to be even more severe, it is important to consider your options with a criminal defense lawyer. Your criminal defense lawyer will help you by ensuring that the charges are valid and that you were actually within the zone limits of a school.
They will also determine whether the area is truly used for school purposes and if the charges are legitimate. Depending on the details of the crime and whether or not you have a previous record, you may also be eligible to request that the minimum imprisonment be waived. However, the requirements for this are strict and it is not offered to everyone, so it is important to discuss the details of your case with a lawyer to better understand your legal options.
These strict laws are meant to protect children from being exposed to drugs and drug-related crimes. However, if you were wrongly charged or were not in a school zone at the time of the arrest, then the punishment may not fit the crime. There may be legal options available to have your charges reduced or even dropped. Talk with an experienced criminal defense lawyer today.
Contact an Experienced Lindenwold Drug Defense Attorney About Your Drug Charges in a School Zone in New Jersey
Have you been charged with a drug-related offense in a school zone in New Jersey? A drug crime conviction can carry with it heavy fines, jail time, and driver’s license suspension! That is why it is imperative that you speak with a qualified drug defense lawyer about your case. The lawyers at Garber Law represent clients charged with use, possession, production, distribution, and related drug offenses in Lindenwold, Voorhees, Winslow, Haddon Township, and throughout New Jersey. Call (856) 435-5800 or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation about your case. We have an office located at The Greens of Laurel Oak, 1200 Laurel Oak Road, Suite 104, Voorhees, NJ 08043, in addition to an office located in Philadelphia, PA.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.