As the week winds down , I think back to a case from this week. My thought is the total abuse of the drug free school zone law here in Nashville ,Tennessee. Nashville’s a great place to live with schools and parks in most places in the county . Only problem is just driving by a school zone with drugs puts you up for an enhanced drug charge . Everybody can agree that drugs are part of society’s problematic areas for long while . The problems with drug use both illegal and the increasing abuse of prescription drugs needs to be addressed. However , the Metro Nashville Police in my opinion are looking at any way to charge a drug free school zone case .
The use of the school zone enhancement has a chilling effect on fighting your case . For example , a criminal case I handled this week should have been fought but the penalties are so severe that no one can face their accusers . Possession of more than .5 grams of cocaine in a school zone gets you 15 to 25 years in prison at 100%. Facts were no observations of sale by police only some audio with no concrete evidence of a drug sale.Client stopped later with no drugs and $50.00 of the photocopied buy money. He is facing 15-25 on weak evidence . A plea bargain was offered at 1 year on probation. No choice but to take the plea bargain.
No connection to the school other than 1000 feet . However , the hammer of the drug free school zone law in Tennessee is used to prevent a person seeking justice. Now some people might read this and think if I was innocent no way I take a plea deal. Would you gamble 15-25 years on 12 people ? The hammer will be used next week as well to force someone to take a deal.