Distributing Drugs with a Public Park Zone

Mercer County NJ Drug Distribution in a Park Zone Lawyers

The war on drugs in New Jersey is never ending. Law enforcement throughout the State but more importantly throughout Mercer County has been out in full force trying to combat the problem. They have been arresting not only the distributors but the users as well. If you are caught distributing drugs in a park zone, you will be facing additional penalties on top of the underlying distribution charge. Anyone caught possessing with the intent to distribute, distributing or manufacturing within a park zone in with be charged with a separate violation of distributing CDS within 500 feet of a park in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7.1 This offense will be on top of the traditional distribution charge, which is a violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5. Whether you have been charged with distributing marijuana, cocaine, heroin, Molly or prescription drugs in a park zone, in Mercer County, the attorneys at Proetta & Oliver can help. These are very serious charges in New Jersey and as you will see below, traditionally they are second degree felony offenses. Our office will prepare an aggressive defense and push the State to their burden of proof in order to obtain the best possible outcome for our clients.

We defend clients accused of not only distributing CDS within a park zone but other charges like heroin possession, cocaine distribution, possession of CDS with the intent to distribute within a school zone, leader of a drug trafficking network and possession of marijuana under 50 grams. If you would like to sit down with one of our attorneys for a face to face consultation about your charges then please contact us directly at (609) 789-0770. We can discuss the case and give you our honest feedback of how we think we can be off assistance. Hiring the right Mercer County drug distribution defense attorney can go a long way to helping achieve a favorable outcome. Our attorneys serve all of Mercer County including towns like Hamilton, Ewing, Lawrenceville, Trenton, Hopewell, Robbinsville, West Windsor and Hightstown. Remember you do not have to fight these charges alone, please let one of our New Jersey drug distribution defense lawyers help. Now here is some more information on distributing drugs in a park zone.

NJ Marijuana Distribution within 500 Feet of Park Charges NJ

In their effort to combat the war on drugs that is never ending in this state the legislatures created enhanced penalties for any caught distributing drugs in not only a park zone but in a school zone as well. The school zone charge enhances the penalties for distribution of drugs within 1000 feet of a school. However, the park zone charge enhances the penalties for anyone alleged to have distributed drugs within 500 feet of a public park or housing project. The specific section of the statute that covers distributing within 500 feet of a park is NJSA 2C:35-7.1. According to the New Jersey model jury charges, this section covers:

  • Any person who violates another section of our law by distributing a controlled dangerous substance while in, on or within 500 feet of the real property comprising a Public Housing Facility, Public Park, or a Public Building is guilty of a crime.

The “another section of our law” is referring to the distribution of CDS statute. As stated earlier, this is in addition to any underlying drug distribution charge. For more information on this offense please feel free to contact one of our Mercer County drug charges defense attorneys. We can be reached directly at (609) 789-0779.

What is Considered a Public Housing Facility in NJ?

A public housing facility has been defined by the legislature as “any dwelling, complex of dwellings, accommodation, building, structure or facility and real property of any nature … which is owned by or leased to a local housing authority … for the purpose of providing living accommodations to persons of low income.”  So anyone caught distributing drugs within 500 feet of one of these buildings will be charged under this section.

What is Considered a Public Park in NJ?

A public park has been defined any “park, recreation facility or area or playground owned or controlled by a State, county or local government unit”.  So the key here is to determine who either owns or controls the park.

What is Considered a Public Building in NJ?

A public building has been defined as “any publicly owned or leased library or museum”. So as you can tell this section of the statute is a little narrower and easier to define. Regardless of the section that a Defendant is charged with, these are serious offenses and require the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney.

It is important to note here that the Defendant’s knowledge that he was in fact in one of the prohibited zones is irrelevant. The prosecution needs to prove that when the Defendant distributed the drugs, he was within 500 feet of a Public Housing Facility, Public Park or Public Building.

Will I go to Jail if Convicted of Distributing Drugs in a Park Zone in NJ?

This section of the statute differs from all other drug distribution related offenses. As when it comes time to determine what degree of a felony that the Defendant will be charged with, the quantity and the type of drug is irrelevant unless it is marijuana under one ounce. For all other drugs, like heroin, cocaine, Molly, Crack Cocaine, Crystal Meth, Xanax, Oxycontin or even marijuana over one once, will be facing second degree charges.  A second degree felony is the second highest level felony in New Jersey. Anyone convicted under this section of statute will be facing up to a decade behind bars, a fine up to $150,000 and a felony drug distribution conviction. In addition, the Defendant will still be facing the underlying drug distribution offense, which depending on the weight of the drug could be more severe.

Park Zone Drug Distribution Lawyer in Trenton NJ

As you can see from reading above, this offense is extremely serious and if convicted, the potential penalties are life changing. If you have been charged with this offense or any other criminal offense like aggravated assault, unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose, eluding, robbery or endangering the welfare of a child, the Mercer County criminal attorneys at Proetta & Oliver can help. Our criminal defense lawyers possess the skillset and drive necessary to fight to protect your rights. We strive to make sure that our clients are involved in the decision making process throughout your case. Also, unlike most larger law firms, when you hire our firm, your case will be assigned to one specific attorney. Our office serves all of Mercer County, including towns like East Windsor, Trenton, Hightstown, Ewing, Lawrence, West Windsor and Hamilton. For a free consultation today please do not hesitate to contact us.