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School Zone Enhancement is Broader than You Think

Many individuals arrested for possessing or distributing drugs are surprised to learn they are being charged with possession in a school zone. They adamantly contend that they did not know a school was nearby, that school wasn’t in session or that they had no intention to sell to students. What they do not realize is that none of these things matter. The school zone enhancement for drug crimes is much broader than most people realize.

If requested by the district attorney, the judge must impose a two-year mandatory minimum term of imprisonment whenever a defendant manufactured, possessed with intent to deliver, or delivered a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of any parcel of real property that houses a public or private elementary or secondary school:

  • The enhancement applies whether or not school was in session.
  • The enhancement applies whether or not the defendant knew of the presence of a school.
  • The 1,000 feet are measured from the border of the school’s property, not from the school building itself.

Having an experienced Berks County criminal defense attorney on your side can help you understand School Enhancement penalties and other sentence enhancements you may face. A qualified attorney can negotiate more effectively with prosecutors and get the best possible resolution of your controlled substance charge.

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