Drug Violation Near a School Zone
Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 94C, also known as the Controlled Substances Act, governs drug crimes in our state. If a defendant is charged with a drug violation, he may be charged with a drug violation near a school zone. To convict a defendant of a drug violation near a school zone, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant:
- Is guilty of the underlying crime ( i.e. distribution, possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, etc.).
- The underlying crime was committed within: (a.) 1,000 feet of elementary, vocational or secondary school grounds, whether or not that school is in session and whether or not the school is public or private; or (b.) within 100 feet of a public playground or park. To satisfy this element, it is not necessary that the defendant intended to distribute drugs within that school zone. It is enough that the defendant possessed drugs within that distance and intended to distribute them anywhere. A prosecutor is not required to prove a defendant's knowledge that he was within that distance from a school, playground or park. Even an alternative school in a boys' and girls' club with only two rooms is a "school" under this law. The distance from the school is to be measured in a straight line from the school's boundary to the site of the alleged drug activity. It is not the distance it would take by using the street or any other kind of pathway. A school principal or police officer may testify as to that school boundary line.
If you or someone you know has been charged with a drug violation near a school zone, you will need an excellent criminal defense attorney like Kathleen M. McCarthy. McCarthy is committed to providing each of her clients with the best defense possible. If you face this charge, you should immediately call the Law Offices of Kathleen M. McCarthy at (978)-975-8060 or contact her online. The sooner she starts building your defense, the better off you will be.