Committing a violent crime usually comes with some of the harshest punishment. However, committing such a crime in a school zone enhances the charges and increases the potential penalties.
According to the Wisconsin State Legislature, school refers to any educational institution for children and includes the premises, such as athletic fields or other school-owned property. When considering crimes committed in a school zone, this also includes all areas 1,000 feet around a school, on school buses and at bus stops.
The main effect of a school zone designation for a violent crime is additional prison time. For felony crimes, you would have an additional five years added to the maximum prison sentence in your case. For misdemeanor crimes, the maximum jail term increases by three months. As always, the court has the right to determine the exact sentence you will receive.
You may also face additional penalties as part of your sentence for a school zone designation. The court may impose up to 100 hours of community service. You will work with a nonprofit or community organization to fulfill these hours and receive a written statement of the details of this sentence.
The law imposes additional penalties for committing a violent crime in a school zone because the hope is to keep school areas safer for children. Ultimately, the goal is to ensure schools are safe places where students can learn in peace and safety without concerns for their well-being. This is also why school zones include any area in which students may be even those not on school property.