In Texas, “drug free zones” refer to areas around certain locations, such as schools and parks, where drug offenses are subject to enhanced penalties. These enhanced penalties are typically in the form of increased fines and/or prison sentences. Examples of these locations include:
- Public and private primary and secondary schools
- Day-care centers, youth centers, and juvenile detention facilities
- Public swimming pools, video arcades, and youth sports facilities
- Within 1,000 feet of the real property on which a school or youth center is located
- Public parks and playgrounds
- Public housing projects
Undercover police officers often intentionally set up drug buys in drug free zones in order to take advantage of the enhanced penalties. An experience criminal attorney can advise a defendant how a drug free zone will affect his case. Drug free zone enhancements often come into play during plea bargain negotiations with prosecutors.