According to a report in Wicked Local, a Massachusetts teacher's aide has been arrested and charged with some Drug Crimes and Procuring Alcohol for a Minor. It is alleged that the defendant, Jennifer Olsen, twice smoked marijuana with several students. It is further alleged that Olsen provided the drugs. Authorities also claim that the defendant gave alcohol to underage students. Part of the prosecutions' case in based on statements Olsen made through social media and emails. Charges of Procuring Alcohol for a Minor, Possession With the Intent to Distribute Marijuana, a School Zone Violation and Distribution of Marijuana are now pending against the defendant in the Concord District Court.
Massachusetts Criminal Lawyer Who Defendant School Zone Violations
The Massachusetts School Zone Law was recently amended to more fairly reflect the original design of the law. The old law made it a crime to distribute or possess with the intent to distribute drugs within one thousand feet of a school zone. The hours of operation of the school were irrelevant and a conviction for this crime required a two year house of correction sentence to be imposed from and after another committed sentence. The law was harsh, unforgiving and unfair. This past summer the law was amended. Now, the illicit activities must occur within three hundred feet of a school zone and the hours implicating the law are five in the morning to midnight. There is still a mandatory two year sentence however there is a provision permitting parole after the person has served one half of the maximum sentence. There also exist circumstances wherein a person is not eligible for parole, such as if violence or a weapon was used during the commission of the crime.
So what exactly does this mean for Jennifer Olsen? If the district attorney's insists on going forward on the School Zone Violation Olsen will either have to go to trial and win or go to jail. In most instances, particularly where a person does not have a criminal record, the district attorney's office "breaks down" the School Zone Charge on the condition that the accused plead guilty to the underlying drug charge. Sometimes the prosecution agrees to reduce the felony to a misdemeanor and will consent to having the case continued without a finding. In that situation, if all goes well for the defendant, he or she will not have a criminal record once the probationary period is successfully completed. Here however, this situation differs. Olsen was in a position of trust that was violated when she provided drugs and alcohol to minors. This was also done on school property. The district attorney himself commented on how troubling these allegations are particularly where Olsen was entrusted to help educate students at this school. If however this case is difficult to prove from a legal perspective, then perhaps a reduction in charges will follow.
The Law Offices of Stephen Neyman, PC has been defending Drug Cases in Massachusetts for over twenty years. Call us now at 617-263-6800 or send us an email if you want to discuss your criminal case. There is no case that cannot be defended successfully. We know that we can help you.