Hopewell NJ School Zone Drug Violations Lawyer

With Offices in Trenton and Pennington

New Jersey lawmakers are committed to protecting children against drugs. That’s why the laws dealing with drug crimes are especially harsh when the offense takes place in a school zone. Anyone convicted of selling drugs in a school zone is subject to a minimum mandatory period of incarceration. If you are convicted of drug distribution anywhere near a school, you could be end up spending a very long time in prison.

The criminal defense lawyers at Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson have more than 40 years of experience defending clients against drug charges in Hightstown, Robbinsville, and everywhere else in Mercer County, NJ. Our mission is to provide clients with the best possible outcome for their legal issues; that’s why you can expect legal representation of the highest order. If you have been accused of drug distribution in a school zone, call KCR immediately.

School Zone Offenses in Mercer County

New Jersey lawmakers drafted school zone laws very broadly so that a person can be charged with a school zone drug offense in a variety of circumstances. The enhanced penalties for a school zone offense may apply if a person distributes drugs:

  1. On school property that is used for school purposes
  2. On a school bus
  3. Within 1,000 feet of school property or a school bus

A “school zone” is defined very broadly to include any property used for school purposes and owned by or leased to any elementary school or school board. Daycare centers and colleges are noticeably absent from the statutory definition of a “school zone.”

Additionally, keep in mind that the statutory definition casts a wide net that law enforcement uses to catch offenders. 1,000 feet is actually a great distance; it is very easy to accidentally find yourself within 1,000 feet of school property in an urban area.

Penalties for School Zone Offenses in Mercer County

The enhanced penalties for school zone offenses apply to distribution of any controlled dangerous substance (CDS), including marijuana, cocaine, and heroin.

The exact penalties for drug distribution vary, depending upon the type and weight of drug. The same is true for the enhanced penalties that attach to a school zone offense:

  • Less than 1 Oz. of Marijuana: 1 additional year in prison and a $150,000 fine
  • 1 Oz. or More of Marijuana: at least 3 additional years in prison and a $150,000 fine
  • Cocaine: at least 3 additional years in prison and a $150,000 fine
  • Heroin: at least 3 additional years in prison and a $150,000 fine

If you are convicted of a drug crime in a school zone, you may also be required to perform 100 hours of community service. This even applies to possession of drugs in a school zone. In fact, possession of just 1 gram of marijuana could result in these additional penalties.

Beating a School Zone Charge in Princeton, NJ

The penalties for school zone offenses apply to individuals with no prior criminal record. However, if you are a first-time offender, the judge might consider waiving the enhanced penalties so that you are not subject to mandatory prison time. Additionally, if school was not in session and there were no children actually present in the area at the time of the offense, it might be possible to convince the judge to waive the enhanced penalties that typically attach to a school zone drug offense.

Contact a Pennington Marijuana Distribution Attorney

The attorneys at Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson will investigate the facts in your case and determine the best possible strategy to beat your drug distribution charges. Call us now to speak with an experienced member of our litigation team, or email us to schedule a free consultation at our Trenton or Pennington offices.