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Indictment Sufficient in Drug-Free School Zone Case

An indictment, to be valid, must provide a Defendant sufficient notice of the charged offense. More specific information about the charges may be obtained later with a bill of particulars. But the indictment, as the official charging instrument, must contain enough information to give notice of the charged offense. In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Grimes, M2012-00530-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 10-22-2013), the Court of Criminal Appeals once again reminds us that the drug-free school zone statute does not have to be specifically cited in a charge for a drug offense before the case can be prosecuted as a drug-free school zone case. It is sufficient to allege that the offense occurred within one thousand feet of the property of a school (or other applicable location).

Indictment Sufficient in Drug-Free School Zone Case

An indictment, to be valid, must provide a Defendant sufficient notice of the charged offense. More specific information about the charges may be obtained later with a bill of particulars. But the indictment, as the official charging instrument, must contain enough information to give notice of the charged offense. In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Grimes, M2012-00530-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 10-22-2013), the Court of Criminal Appeals once again reminds us that the drug-free school zone statute does not have to be specifically cited in a charge for a drug offense before the case can be prosecuted as a drug-free school zone case. It is sufficient to allege that the offense occurred within one thousand feet of the property of a school (or other applicable location).

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