Drug free zones are areas designated by law to increase punishments for drug offenses. The law was designed to prevent drugs being possessed, bought or sold in places like schools or playgrounds. Sometimes, though, law enforcement selectively abuses the spirit of this enhancement by alleging drug free zone violations for arrests where being in the drug free zone is coincidental. Examples are arrests in school parking lots during the summer when school isn’t in session – or an arrest which occurred in a park at 3 a.m.when no children could possibly be around.
Drug free zone violations result in punishment being enhanced by one level. For example, possession of a usable quantity of marijuana under two ounces is normally a Class B Misdemeanor. If the offense occurs in a drug free zone then it’s increased to a Class A Misdemeanor.
Just because the police allege something occurred in a drug free zone doesn’t automatically make it so. An aggressive criminal defense attorney with knowledge of the law can fight and win against these charges.