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Attorney Arie Lipinski

Defenses for charges of drug sales near schools

On Behalf of | Nov 3, 2023 | Criminal Defense, Drug Charges

Indiana treats illicit drug sales seriously and people who are confronted with these allegations can face severe penalties that will negatively impact every aspect of their life. It can result in incarceration, fines and problems getting certain jobs because of their past criminal history.

While all drug charges should be addressed, there are some in which the circumstances will significantly enhance the potential penalties. One is if the person is accused of selling narcotics near a school or park. There are effective defenses against these charges and it is wise to know them immediately after the arrest.

Know the facts about drug sales near schools or parks

The drugs in question for these charges are cocaine, methamphetamine, a controlled substance or a narcotic drug. If these were delivered, financed or possessed within 500 feet of a school or public park when there was a person under 18 could reasonably have expected to have been present, it could warrant harsher charges than they would in other situations.

Still, just because a person was alleged to have been within this vicinity, there are defenses available that can avoid the enhanced penalties. If they were briefly within 500 feet of the school or park when a person younger than 18 was present or there was no person under 18 at least three years younger than the individual charged when the offense occurred, it could counteract the charges.

If the person charged was only in these areas so close to a school or park at the request of law enforcement when someone under 18 was reasonably expected to be there, it is also an avenue of defense.

For example, if this occurred during a school day between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., then it is reasonable to believe that children under 18 will be in the vicinity. If it is at night on a weekend, then it is less likely for the charged person to expect those under 18 to be there. Drug charges near a school or park will lead to enhancing circumstances thereby making the possible penalties much worse than they would otherwise be.

Fighting drug charges starts with assessing the case

A viable criminal defense for drug charges begins with knowing when there might be enhancing circumstances. One such instance is if the person is alleged to have been within 500 feet of a school or park at the time when those younger than 18 were reasonably expected to be present.

Anyone arrested on these charges must be cognizant of their rights from the start. This is crucial to fighting the allegations and reaching a positive result free of the ramifications of a drug conviction, particularly one committed near a school or park.