Considered a highly popular recreational drug for the younger generation, ecstasy or “E” carries complicated legal consequences due to the purchase trends of the drug. As with other narcotics, certain drugs go through cycles of popularity within communities and local law enforcement is aware of that. Having an drug crimes lawyer familiar with the trends, police practices, and inner workings of ecstasy trade can mean the difference between a sales charge and a possession charge.

An experienced lawyer will be able to recognize whether a person intended to purchase multiple tablets for themselves or for others with the intent to sell to others. Many find themselves involved in a bargain-based purchase with a supplier so that they spend less money. Others find themselves as the designated “hook up” for their friends who don’t want to take the risk of buying the ecstasy.

Therefore, the potential dangers of being charged with selling ecstasy over personal possession of ecstasy are incredibly high compared to other controlled substances. Investigating your case with this complexity in mind is essential to making sure you are treated fairly in the court and not suffer unnecessary punishment.

Criminal Charge Individual Law Type Penalty
Possession of Ecstasy for Personal Use 11377(a) H&S Code Health and Safety Misdemeanor (Depending on the circumstances) Up to  1 year in jail (drug treatment available depending on the case at hand)
Possession of Ecstasy for Sale 11378 H&S CodeHealth and Safety Felony Up to 3 years in prison or up to 1 year in jail

Possession of Ecstasy – 11377 Health and Safety Code

It’s been a long-time assumption that MDMA (commonly referred to as “ecstasy”) was a controlled substance regulated under the Health and Safety Code of California for Drug Laws in California.  Until recently, ecstasy has been categorized as a “controlled substance analog” for purposes of prosecution.  People v. Davis (2013) 159 Cal.Rptr.3d 405.  What this means is that depending on what courthouse your case is being heard in, the prosecution may have a difficult time establishing the necessary elements to secure a conviction.Nevertheless, whether you or someone you know has been arrested and charged with possessing mollies, MDMA, ecstasy, or some combination of any of those ingredients, you will need an experienced drug defense lawyer to handle the case.

What is the typical punishment for Possessing Ecstasy?

Possessing ecstasy can be forgiving in terms of punishment if the client can get qualified for a drug treatment program under the California diversion statutes or Proposition 36.  If not, the penalty can be up to one year in local county jail (before Proposition 47, punishment used to be a felony and prison-eligible).  In between those to possibilities, however, can be several combinations of alternative sentencing to preserve your record and allow you to maintain your current lifestyle.

What does it mean to “Possess” Ecstasy?

Possession is a term most people understand naturally but get confused with when it comes to the criminal justice system.  Possession need not be actual possession (like having something in your hand or pocket).  Possession can be “constructive” whereby the person exercises some kind of control over the controlled substance.

Can more than one person “Possess” Ecstasy?

Yes.  Possession does not have to be limited to only one person.  If two people in a car are pulled over by police and both are questioned about the drugs that were find in the back seats, silence will cause the officers to assume that both individuals were in possession of the ecstasy and both will be arrested.  How the case transpires in court will depend on dozens of factors for your lawyer to work with.

What should one do when arrested for Possessing Ecstasy?

The first thing one should do is get in touch with a qualified and experienced drug possession lawyer that can help you navigate through the justice system to walk away with the least amount of punishment or consequences to your record.  Knowing the differences in police practices, court policy, available treatment programs, and drug recognition requirements can mean the difference between a relatively painless experience in the courts and the worst experience in someone’s life.

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Ecstasy in the News and Recent Events

08.25.2014.  Myanmar Navy seizes $20-Million dollars worth of ecstasy tablets in a single shipment.  All 10 crew members along with the captain were arrested.  Authorities cite the bust as the largest in Myanmar’s history.

09.13.14.  New Book: “Acid Test” by author Tom Schroder explores the therapeutic history and benefits to psychedelics including LSD, MDMA, and Ecstasy for treatment of PTSD.  May be a path to new defenses for MDMA/Ecstasy Possession cases.