Nashville Drug-Free Zone regulations are formed to protect the interest of children and prevent drug usage. The Tennessee General Assembly passed new law reforms in June 2020 for Tennessee’s drug-free school zone law. According to the reform, drug offenses committed in a school zone will be punished more harshly. The law was applicable even if the sale occurred outside school, between adults, at someone’s property, after school hours, or when there were no children present.
Under the Drug-Free Zones act penalties are imposed on drug crimes including usage and possession of marijuana near parks, schools, or other public locations identified. In Tennessee, marijuana possession and use is a crime. Any defendant convicted for drugs will face stiffer sentences if the violations occurred in the Drug-Free Zone. Our professionally trained drug crime attorneys understand that the stakes are higher when the case involves drug-free zone violations. For people arrested in drug-free zone violations, we provide dedicated defense advocacy.
Nashville Drug-Free Zone Violations:
Nashville Drug-Free Zone laws are developed under the Tennessee Drug-Free School Zone Act 1995, to provide children with an environment in which they can learn and enjoy without the danger of illegal drug activity. The act is an essential basis for all alleged drug offense cases occurring in a Drug-Free Zone. The enhanced penalty is only applicable on criminal offenses associated with manufacturing, selling, delivering, or possession with intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver a controlled substance. The law is not restricted whether a minor was involved or a minor witnesses the alleged crime. Moreover, it is not required by the prosecution to prove that the defendant intended to commit a drug offense or knew that they were within a Drug-Free Zone.
What Is Considered a Drug-Free Zone?
A Drug-Free zone under the act includes schools and grounds along with areas within 1,000 square feet of a public or a private school. It includes middle schools, secondary schools, elementary schools, public libraries, child cares, parks, or recreational centers. If you are found using or with the possession of marijuana within 1,000 square feet of a Drug-Free Zone, you will be subject to enhanced penalties.
Penalties and Sentencing:
Drug crimes committed within a Drug-Free Zone are punishable for one class higher than the offense mentioned under the Tennessee drug offenses statute. For the underlying drug crime conviction, the defendant will be given enhanced sentencing and in addition to this, the defendant may also face penalties for drug-free school zone act violation. Such penalties include a jail sentence and a heavy fine. Convicted people will have to complete a minimum sentence specified by the law with no parole.
Avoiding the penalties usually involves fighting the underlying drug charges. A professional defense attorney can fight against conviction to mitigate the consequences. Severe penalties can be used to get the defendant to pursue a plea agreement. An experienced criminal defense attorney will guide you through the process to negotiate a fair plea agreement for Drug-Free Zone violations.
Laws Regarding Marijuana Possession:
Under Tennessee law, marijuana is not permitted for recreational use as it is considered illegal in any form. Even for medical purposes, Tennessee does not allow anyone to obtain or provide marijuana. Unless procured under a valid prescription, if you are found with marijuana, you will be facing criminal charges. To convict a defendant, the prosecution must prove that the substance was marijuana and it was under possession knowingly. The expert witness will be called to validate. A fine of up to $2,500 with jail time can be imposed for the conviction. In Tennessee, possession of marijuana is a class A misdemeanor offense. Community service work can also be included. If a person is found with a large quantity of marijuana, the felony charges of possession with intent to sell may be applied with a penalty of up to six years in jail and a fine of $5,000.
Hiring an Attorney for Drug Charges:
If you or someone you know has been charged with marijuana possession within a Nashville Drug-Free Zone, you will require defending against the allegations to keep drug conviction off your records. Our drug crime attorneys have years of experience in handling drug possession cases. We completely understand how the prosecution for drug offenses happens; That allows us to prepare a specific strategy according to your case requirements.
To avoid an enhanced penalty in a Drug-Free Zone violation, defending the charges is necessary. Schedule your appointment today and consult our team to know more about your legal options. Our attorneys aim to defend your case and attain outcomes that are in your interest.