Criminal Sale Of A Controlled Substance In Or Near School Grounds

by ECL Writer
Criminal Possession In The Fifth Degree Of A Controlled Substance

The New York Penal Law § 220.44 addresses a serious offense: the criminal sale of a controlled substance on or near school grounds. The law aims to protect children and adolescents from drug-related crimes that could negatively impact their safety, education, and future. The sale of controlled substances in or near school grounds is considered a felony offense that carries severe penalties, including imprisonment and fines. In this article, Eastcoastlaws.com will delve into the details of NY Penal Law § 220.44, its implications, and the potential consequences of violating it. We will also explore the rationale behind the law and the efforts made to enforce it.

One of the most significant kinds of drug offenses is thought to be the sale of narcotics. Drug possession sanctions are typically less severe than those for drug sales. Additionally, the crime of selling drugs is considerably more serious if children are somehow involved in or may be influenced by it. Selling narcotics close to a school is against the law according to New York Penal Code 220.44. The following must be proven by the prosecutor in order to prove this crime:

  • That the defendant sold drugs on the grounds of a school, at a child daycare center, at an educational facility, or on a school bus
  • If the sale took place at a child daycare center or at an educational facility, the defendant must have had knowledge that such a place was a child daycare center or educational facility

A building, structure, playground, athletic field, or other pieces of land included in the real property of a public or private child day care center is referred to as the grounds. Prekindergarten, kindergarten, and nursery schools are all included in the definition.

How Much Of The Area Around A School Is Considered A Drug-Free Zone?

In New York State, a drug-free zone is defined as an area within 1,000 feet of school grounds. This includes not only the school building but also any school-owned or leased land, such as playgrounds, athletic fields, and parking lots. The area around a school is considered a drug-free zone to ensure the safety and well-being of children and adolescents by deterring drug-related criminal activity. The sale of a controlled substance within this designated zone is considered a serious offense under the New York Penal Law § 220.44 and can result in severe legal consequences. It is important to note that the drug-free zone applies not only during school hours but also after hours and during weekends and holidays when students may still be present on school property.

New York Penal Code § 220.44: Criminal Sale Of A Controlled Substance In Or Near School Grounds.

A person is guilty of criminal sale of a controlled substance in or near school grounds when he knowingly and unlawfully sells:

  • a controlled substance in violation of any one of subdivisions one through six-a of § 220.34 of this article, when such sale takes place upon school grounds or on a school bus; or
  • a controlled substance in violation of any one of subdivisions one through eight of § 220.39 of this article, when such sale takes place upon school grounds or on a school bus; or
  • a controlled substance in violation of any one of subdivisions one through six of § 220.34 of this article, when such sale takes place upon the grounds of a child day care or educational facility under circumstances evincing knowledge by the defendant that such sale is taking place upon such grounds; or
  • a controlled substance in violation of any one of subdivisions one through eight of § 220.39 of this article, when such sale takes place upon the grounds of a child day care or educational facility under circumstances evincing knowledge by the defendant that such sale is taking place upon such grounds.
  • For purposes of subdivisions three and four of this section, “the grounds of a child day care or educational facility” means (a) in or on or within any building, structure, athletic playing field, playground, or land contained within the real property boundary line of a public or private child day care center as such term is defined in paragraph (c) of subdivision one of section three hundred ninety of the social services law, or nursery, pre-kindergarten or kindergarten, or (b) any area accessible to the public located within one thousand feet of the real property boundary line comprising any such facility or any parked automobile or other parked vehicle located within one thousand feet of the real property boundary line comprising any such facility. For the purposes of this section an “area accessible to the public” shall mean sidewalks, streets, parking lots, parks, playgrounds, stores, and restaurants.
  • For the purposes of this section, a rebuttable presumption shall be established that a person has knowledge that they are within the grounds of a child day care or educational facility when notice is conspicuously posted of the presence or proximity of the such facility.

Penalties To Criminal Sale Of A Controlled Substance In Or Near School Grounds

The criminal sale of a controlled substance in or near school grounds is considered so serious that it is classified as a class B felony. This means that if you are convicted, you will be sentenced to up to 25 years in prison. If you have no prior felony convictions, then the minimum prison sentence will be 5 years, while if you have a prior conviction the minimum prison sentence will be 10 years. In addition, you may be required to pay a fine of up to $30,000.

Defenses To Criminal Sale Of A Controlled Substance In Or Near School Grounds

The definition of “school grounds,” “educational facility,” and “daycare center” as used in the unlawful sale of a prohibited substance on or near school property is quite extensive and in-depth. You might have a strong defense to such an allegation if the location where the incident occurred is not covered by the definitions of the statute. The prosecutor must demonstrate that it was reasonable for you to have known the location was a kid daycare center or educational establishment if those are the settings where the incident took place. The prosecutor may have to drop that charge if you can demonstrate that you were unaware of the situation and that there was no justification for you to have such information.

Hiring A New York Lawyer For Criminal Sale Of A Controlled Substance In Or Near School Grounds Case

If you or someone you know is facing charges related to the criminal sale of a controlled substance in or near school grounds in New York, it is crucial to seek the assistance of a skilled and experienced lawyer. A lawyer with expertise in criminal defense and drug-related cases can provide valuable guidance and representation throughout the legal process.

When hiring a New York lawyer for a criminal sale of a controlled substance in or near a school grounds case, there are several factors to consider. One of the most important is the lawyer’s experience and track record in handling similar cases. It is important to choose a lawyer who has a deep understanding of the New York Penal Law § 220.44 and has successfully defended clients in similar cases.

Another factor to consider is the lawyer’s availability and willingness to communicate with you throughout the legal process. You want to choose a lawyer who will be responsive to your needs, answer your questions promptly, and keep you updated on the progress of your case.

Lastly, it is important to consider the cost of hiring a lawyer. Criminal defense lawyers in New York typically charge hourly rates, and the fees can vary widely depending on the complexity of the case and the lawyer’s experience. It is important to discuss fees and payment arrangements with your lawyer upfront to avoid any misunderstandings or surprises down the line.

In summary, hiring a skilled and experienced New York lawyer for a criminal sale of a controlled substance in or near school grounds case is essential. Take the time to research and select a lawyer who has the expertise, availability, and fees that fit your needs and budget.

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