Selling Drugs to Minors in a School Zones
Selling drugs to minors is a serious offense.
In Florida, drug charges carry severe penalties with them, and charges related to selling controlled substances to minors carry enhanced penalties. In an effort to decrease the incidents of drug sales to minors, the Florida Legislature has created designated zones where sale or possession of drugs carry enhanced penalties. These zones are generally areas where children are present- school, parks, and daycare centers. If you are charged with possession, selling, or trafficking in a controlled substance, you will likely face harsh penalties and strict probation even after release.
Drug-Free Zones in Florida
In the state of Florida, there are certain areas deemed drug-free zones. While this does not mean that possession or sale of illicit substances is permitted outside those zones, it does mean that enhanced punishment is warranted for drug offenses occurring in these designated areas. Under Section 893.13, Florida Statues, you are not permitted to sell, produce, or possess a controlled substance in, on, or within 1,000 feet of these drug-free zones which include the following:
- A childcare facility that contains any childcare center or arrangement that offers childcare for more than five non-operator-related kids and gets payment for caring for kids.
- A primary, middle, or secondary public or private school between 6 a.m. and midnight.
- A government or private college, college, or other institution of post-secondary education.
- A municipal park – county or state.
- A community center that comprises a facility operated by a community-based non-profit organization that provides the public with instructional, social, or recreational facilities.
- A recreation facility owned by the public.
- A church or place where a religious organization frequently performs religious services.
- A facility for public housing.
- An assisted living facility.
If you are charged with possession, sale, manufacture, or distribution of an unlawful drug on the premises of one of these drug-free zones, you are facing enhanced penalties as compared to those for the same offense occurring in a non-protected zone.
Enhanced Criminal Penalties for Offenses within Drug-Free Zones
Depending on the type and quantity of substance recovered, the possession, sale, or distribution of an illegal drug can be prosecuted as a first-degree misdemeanor, third-degree felony, or second-degree felony. However, if the offense is committed on or within 1,000 feet from one of the zones specified above, the offense will be charged one degree higher than the original offense.
For example, if you are arrested for selling cocaine in a non-protected zone, you would be charged with a second-degree felony. However, if you were arrested for selling that same amount of cocaine in a drug-free zone, you would be charged with a first-degree felony, which would carry enhanced charging maximums, and potential minimum mandatory sentences.
Contact an Experienced Florida Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you are facing charges for possession, consumption, distribution, or other crime in a drug-free area such as a school, the penalties you may be facing can be harsh making it imperative that you contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The Orlando criminal defense attorneys at O’Mara Law Group will ensure that your rights are protected and you get the best possible outcome for the charges that you are facing. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.