Illinois Supreme Court rules that a preschool is not a “school” for penalty enhancement of Delivery of a Controlled Substance
Today, the Illinois Supreme Court decided that a preschool is not a “school” for purposes of enhancing the offense of Delivery of a Controlled Substance to a Class 1 felony. Illinois statute 720 ILCS 570/407(b)(2) states that Delivery of a Controlled substance when committed within 1,000 feet of the real property comprising a school is a Class 1 felony. In People v. Anthony Young, 2011 IL 111886 (December 15, 2011), the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the Appellate court which ruled that under current Illinois law “school” does not include preschools and reduced Anthony Young’s conviction to Delivery of a Controlled Substance, a Class 2 felony.
The Appellate Court had noted that a 20 year old case, People v. Goldstein, 204 Ill. App.3de 1041 (1990) had indicated the meaning of “school” to be unclear and ruled that under current law school meant “any public or private elementary or secondary school, community college, college or university.”
The Illinois Supreme Court agreed with the Appellate Court and found that if the legislature wanted to expand the definition to include preschools, it had ample opportunity to do so.
Needless to say, although the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that the penalty for Delivery of a Controlled Substance is not currently enhanced by committing such an offense on the grounds of a preschool, such conduct is still a crime.