NJ NJ SCHOOL ZONE LAW
Understanding New Jersey’s School Zone Law: A Comprehensive Overview
As a parent or student in New Jersey, it is crucial to understand the state’s School Zone Law, its provisions and penalties stipulated for violating it. The law prohibits distribution, possession, or dispensing of controlled dangerous substance (CDS) like marijuana and other drugs on a school property or within 1,000 feet of such property. It applies to everyone within the jurisdiction of a school district, including students, parents, staff members, and entities that come in contact with schools’ surroundings. Violation of this law constitutes a third-degree offense punishable by severe punishment ranging from lengthy imprisonment to hefty fines.
Description of the Law
Section 2C:35-7 of the School Zone Law provides that any individual found guilty of distributing or dispensing CDS on school property used for educational purposes faces a third-degree offense carrying substantial penalties. The minimum sentence includes one-third to one-half term of imprisonment, during which eligibility for parole shall not occur anytime before serving these minimum sentences according to subsection (a).
In case individuals violate this law by possessing less than one ounce of marijuana while on school property used for educational purposes or within 1000 feet from such areas may face minimum 1/3rd sentence periods corresponding up-to one year during which they will be ineligible for parole as cited in subsection (b). If such persons possess unlawful substances aside from marijuana while committing the offence under violation may face minimum terms as prescribed in subsection (a), ranging from one-third to half which corresponds at least three years during which these individuals are ineligible for parole.
Additionally, a fine amounting up to $150,000 may also be imposed along with imprisonment charges as per subsection(a) provided under N.J.S.2C:43-3
The court can waive the minimum period of parole ineligibility prescribed under subsection (a) and instead put accused defendants on probation. In making this determination, the court must consider several factors such as the person’s criminal records, the distance of the crime location from school property, including likelihood exposure to children and whether schools were in session or not.
However, he may not waive a minimum term of parole ineligibility sentence if the offense was committed on school properties used for educational purposes controlled by secondary boards or elementary schools or school buses. The court also may not waive parole sentences for anyone who carried guns or threatened violence during drug-related activities.
Consequently, judges place shorter parole sentences within prosecution parameters. Likewise, the sentence imposing probation is final only after ten days to allow prosecutors to appeal any aspect of verdict challenge,
Aside from this law’s strict provisions, violating it is still deemed as an offence under Subsection (c) and doesn’t change convictions for violating other provisions assigned under different sections.
Defenses Against Violating NJ School Zone Law
While ignorance of the law isn’t a sound defense against such violations, there are certain defenses an attorney may raise on behalf of their client:
– Affirmative Defense
This affirmative defense requires demonstrating that prohibited activities occurred solely within private residence and excluded possessing controlled dangerous substances or analogs.
Furthermore, No one aged seventeen years or less was present during committing these offenses. This affirmative defense can only apply if established through preponderance evidence by defendants but doesn’t constitute a validity argument for N.J.S.2C:35-5s violation.
– Waiving Minimum Term of Parole Ineligibility
Under subsection(b), Judges can reduce minimal terms corresponding to parole ineligibility after considering various aspects like prior criminal histories and surrounding circumstances around crime locations authorized under New Jersey Municipalities and counties applicable for such purposes
Penalties For Violating School Zone Law
Section 2C:35-7 defines penalties prescribed by NJ’s Criminal Code regarding individuals that violate subsection(a) while distributing CDS by possessing or dispensing these substances within a 1000 feet radius of school premises.
These crimes are third-degree offenses and carry substantial penalties such as imprisonment, including minimum terms ranging from one-third to half applicable depending on the involved details, to serving maximum prison sentences. Violators may also be subjected to hefty fines up-to $150,000 under subsection (a) in addition to the sentence.
In conclusion, violating NJ’s School Zone Law carries severe consequences that affect your personal, educational and professional life forever. If you or someone you know is facing charges under this law, contact attorney Todd Spodek at 877-322-2865 for representation in courtrooms or sound legal advice throughout criminal proceedings. Notably, it’s better to avoid such situations altogether and stay away from drug-related activities around school properties or buses, as prevention remains the most effective option concerning survival and good repute.
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