California takes drug crimes very seriously, especially if they occur in school zones. According to state and federal law, drug crimes are punished far more harshly when committed within 1,000 feet of drug-free zones (DFZs), including school zones. Under the law, school zones may include elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, youth centers, swimming pools, and playgrounds. More generally, a drug-free zone is any location that may cater to anyone under eighteen.
When you face drug charges in a San Diego school zone, you need an aggressive and determined criminal defense attorney to review all the evidence the prosecution has against you and uncover new evidence that can cast reasonable doubt on the prosecution’s case. You need a trusted criminal defense attorney at your side. Attorney Dod Ghassemkhani will use his experience and skills to fight for you.
Understanding Drug Crime Charges
The penalties for convictions of drug crimes in San Diego can vary widely. Cases can become more complicated when more elements are involved, such as the number of offenses, the location of the crime, or if there were weapons involved. The consequences for a drug crime conviction range from total dismissal of the case to treatment programs or severe prison sentences. Drug crime charges in San Diego take a variety of forms, including:
- Drug possession
- Possession with intent to sell
- Drug trafficking or distribution
- Drug manufacturing
Each case is unique, and a skilled San Diego criminal defense attorney can review the facts and evidence of your situation to build the best defense possible.
How Are Drug Crime Penalties Affected If It Occurred in a School Zone?
Federal law states that drug crimes committed near or in a school zone are subject to twice the maximum punishment allowed by the law. They may also be subject to twice the supervised release term, during which the offender is monitored after they are released from custody. Individuals found guilty of a drug-related crime in a school zone may also be required to pay up to twice the amount in fines than usually assigned. Those guilty of committing a drug crime in or near a school zone may also be subject to a minimum one-year jail sentence.
It’s generally challenging to list specific penalty enhancements for drug crimes in school zones because they vary based on the specific crime. If a drug crime charge involves a minor, the penalties may be up to three times the usual fine and a minimum sentence of three years in prison.
A common crime that occurs in school zones is the employment of minors to sell or distribute drugs. Federal law states that anyone found guilty of employing, hiring, persuading, or coercing an individual under eighteen into selling drugs is subject to triple the standard fine and sentence. The law also applies to adults who use minors to avoid detection or blame minors for the drug crimes they committed. The mandatory minimum of anyone found guilty of these crimes must be imprisoned for no less than three years.
Contact a Skilled San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney to Fight for You
After over seventeen years of experience in criminal defense law, Attorney Dod Ghassemkhani at Dod Law knows that a drug crime charge has the ability to uproot your whole life. Penalties for drug crimes in school zones are automatically harshened by law. If you are facing drug crime charges that occurred in a school zone, you need an aggressive and determined criminal offense attorney at your side. Attorney Dod understands the law and can help build a strong defense case. Call (619) 814-5110 or fill out the contact form to schedule a consultation today.