The high cost of selling drugs near Florida schools

On Behalf of | Jun 19, 2024 | Drug Charges

Schools are the very institutions that nurture and guide the future adults of our world. Nothing should come between children and the bright future ahead of them, especially not the presence of illegal drugs. When drug dealers try to sell narcotics near schools, it becomes a huge problem.

No matter the amount, schools and their surrounding areas need to be safe spaces for children. Florida law knows and imposes this belief. If individuals break this law, there are severe legal consequences to face.

No selling within 1,000 feet of school zones

It is illegal to sell, manufacture, deliver or possess with intent to sell any controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school, whether public or private. The prohibition applies to elementary, middle, and secondary schools between 6 a.m. and midnight.

While the statute specifies that the prohibition applies between 6 a.m. and 12 midnight for those schools, it does not provide an exception for the remaining hours between 12 midnight and 6 a.m. Selling drugs within 1,000 feet of a school is illegal at all times, 24 hours a day, seven days a week under Florida law. There are no ‘window hours’ that make it legal.

Consequences when caught during a drug sale

The penalties for selling drugs near a school vary depending on the specific controlled substance involved. For Schedule I and II drugs (e.g., heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine), it is a first-degree felony punishable by:

  • A minimum 3-year prison sentence
  • Up to 30 years in prison
  • Up to $10,000 in fines

For Schedule III, IV, and some Schedule I and II drugs, it is a second-degree felony punishable by:

  • Up to 15 years in prison
  • Up to $10,000 in fines

Any other controlled substance carries a $500 fine and 100 hours of public service in addition to any other penalties prescribed by law. When facing charges for selling drugs near school zones, blindly fighting the charges without understanding Florida laws and potential defenses can be more detrimental. If accused, it may be beneficial to seek the help of an attorney experienced in criminal defense. An attorney can help with specific defense strategies for an individual’s case.

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