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How The Location Of Drug Crimes Impact Sentencing

Committing a drug crime in any location can lead to serious criminal penalties. However, if you are convicted of committing a drug offense within close proximity to a specialized area, you could be facing enhanced penalties.

Sentencing Enhancement Zones

Each state has different laws for where drug penalties may increase. If you commit a drug offense within 1,000 feet of one of the following locations in Florida, you face more severe criminal penalties.
These include:

  • Schools
  • Universities or college campuses
  • Churches
  • Daycares
  • Public housing complexes
  • Parks

It is important to note that a simple possession charge near one of these locations will not result in an enhanced sentence. The offenses that are covered include:

  • Possession with intent to sell
  • Delivery
  • Sale
  • Manufacture


If you are convicted for committing a drug offense near a sentencing enhancement zone, you will be sentenced to a three-year mandatory minimum jail sentence.

This is in addition to other penalties such as fines, probation, driver’s license suspension, mandatory community service, and more.

Mandatory Minimum Jail Sentences

Certain offenses require that the defendant be sentenced to spend a mandatory amount of time in jail. In these instances, the judge cannot alter the sentence to be less than the mandatory minimum amount. This type of sentencing has been highly criticized in recent years for requiring relatively low-level offenders to be incarcerated unnecessarily.

What To Do If You Have Been Arrested For A Drug Offense

If you are facing drug charges, you need to take action as soon as possible. Remember that anything you say can be held against you. Because of this, one of the first things you should do is contact an attorney. A drug crime attorney can provide guidance to ensure you don’t do or say anything that could potentially hurt your case.

At Hager & Schwartz, P.A., we have helped many clients avoid the harsh penalties that come with a drug crime conviction. If you are facing drug charges, contact us today to get started on your defense.