Crimes in a Drug-Free Zone

The location of a drug crime can add to the charges and increase penalties

Louisiana takes all drug crimes seriously, but it is strongly committed to keeping children, and patients undergoing drug rehabilitation programs and their families, safe from illegal drug activities.  Toward that goal, the state enacted the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Law in 2006, imposing severe additional penalties when drug crimes occur in a drug-free zone.  At the Law Offices of James Kirk Piccione, we have a detailed understanding of this law and the skills needed to defend anyone who violates the provisions of this law.

Identifying a drug-free zone

Under Louisiana law, anyone committing a drug crime faces additional penalties when the acts are performed within 1,000 feet of the following places:

  • Public or private elementary, secondary, vocational-technical schools, and private or public colleges or universities—including buildings, grounds, and school buses
  • Religious building property
  • Public housing authority property
  • Child day care center property
  • Drug treatment facilities

All areas except school-related property must be properly labeled as drug-free zones.  And the law does not extend to acts that technically meet the location requirements when they occur within a private residence, as long as no person age 17 or under is present.

Penalties for violating drug laws in a drug-free zone

When a drug crime conviction includes violation of the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Law, the maximum allowed fine for that crime is automatically imposed, and the longest term of imprisonment is increased one and one-half times.  Additional drug-free zone sentences are not subject to parole, probation, or suspension of sentence when violation of the associated felony crime is not subject to these sentencing considerations.

A skilled and experienced Lousiana criminal law firm

If you or a loved one face drug or related charges in Louisiana, a Lafayette criminal defense law firm well-versed in drug law is vital to your freedom and your future.  Lafayette criminal attorney James Kirk Piccione is qualified and respected in the Louisiana legal community.

The Law Firm of James Kirk Piccione is committed to providing aggressive, competent, legal representation to our clients throughout Southern Louisiana.  Call James Kirk Piccione at 337-233-9030, or contact us online today.