School Zone Drug Violations
Massachusetts law relative to school zone violations changed in August of 2012. Under the old law, the government was required to prove that the underlying drug distribution offense was committed within 1000 feet of the grounds of a public or private elementary, vocational, secondary school, preschool or Headstart facility, whether or not the school was in session, or within 100 feet of a public park or playground. Under the new law, the applicable distance is 300 feet. Thus, the new law narrows the school-zone radius. Additionally, the government must prove that the underlying offense was committed between the hours of 5 a.m. and 12 a.m. under the new law. In addition to reducing the school zone range, the new law increased the amounts of drugs needed to meet trafficking thresholds. However, the new law contains other provisions that negatively impact those accused and already convicted of certain crimes.
The decrease in the distance for triggering school zone violations is beneficial to criminal defendants. Before the legal changes, it was increasingly difficult to imagine an area that was not a “school zone,” given the large triggering distance. This was so particularly in urban areas. The statute establishing school zone violations survived a constitutional attack on the ground that urban offenders are more likely to be within range than rural offenders. School zone drug violations carry a 2-year mandatory minimum jail sentence, and such cases require a vigorous defense.Boston Drug Crimes Defense Attorney
Attorney Robert J. Wheeler, Jr. has more than 30 years of experience defending those who have been charged with school zone drug violations. Attorney Wheeler is well-known as one of Massachusetts’ best criminal drug defense lawyers. He works relentlessly to protect his clients’ rights. Attorney Wheeler makes sure that his clients are fully informed as to developments in their cases and keeps lines of communication open. He is a lawyer who always makes himself available to his clients. Robert Wheeler is both an aggressive advocate and a thoughtful listener. He regularly represents persons accused of the following Massachusetts drug crimes:
- Possession with intent to distribute
- Drug conspiracy
- Federal drug crimes
- Drug crimes involving heroin, cocaine, Oxycontin, various prescription drugs, marijuana, MDMA, meth, steroids, and more
If you or someone you know has been charged with any criminal offense in Massachusetts, Robert J. Wheeler, Jr. is the attorney to contact. The Law Offices of Robert J. Wheeler, Jr. is located in downtown Boston. You can reach Attorney Wheeler’s office by calling (617) 973 5858 or you can send him an e-mail through this website. Robert Wheeler serves the criminally accused in courts throughout Massachusetts, and he welcomes the opportunity to meet with you to start building your successful defense. He encourages you to view the page featuring his recent case results so that you may gain a sense of the high- quality representation he provides.