Ecstasy or Molly, commonly known as MDMA, is a moderately widespread drug in Florida and the United States. Ecstasy has a reputation as a "party drug," yet the criminal consequences for using it are anything but fun. Possession of ecstasy does not result in any minor criminal penalties, especially in South Florida. MDMA (4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is classified as a Schedule I drug by the DEA, meaning it is defined as a drug with no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Depending on the amount of Ecstasy possessed, the crime may be classified as a Level 8 or even a Level 9 offense. The state of Florida ranks offenses by severity on a scale from 1-10, with 1 being the least severe and 10 ranked as the most severe.
Possession of ecstasy alone is a third-degree felony, even with amounts as little as a single ounce. Possession of MDMA or ecstasy totaling 10 to 200 grams is penalized by a three-year obligatory minimum jail sentence in West Palm Beach. Florida's drug laws are harsh and if you or a loved one have been charged with MDMA possession or trafficking, you will need the assistance of an experienced West Palm Beach ecstasy defense attorney to safeguard your rights.
Possession is having, holding, or exerting authority or control over something. Police do not need to verify your ownership of ecstasy found on your person, at your house, or even in your vehicle. They must only demonstrate that you were aware of the presence of ecstasy. While this is not always easy, claiming that the ecstasy "is not yours" will not suffice under Florida law and you will have to demonstrate that you were unaware of it which can be done with the help of a Florida drug defense attorney. The most common forms of possession for MDMA and similar drugs are actual possession, constructive possession, and joint possession. Surprisingly, if you are caught with just over 10 grams of ecstasy, you can, and likely will be prosecuted for drug trafficking even if you had no intention of doing so.
How Ecstasy Possession is Defined Under Florida Law
- Actual possession is defined as MDMA in your hand, in your pocket, or that is so close to you that you have power over it.
- Constructive possession is defined as having control over or attempting to conceal MDMA. To establish constructive possession, a Florida judge must demonstrate that you had control over the ecstasy and were aware of its presence. It is important to note that if at least one other person had access to the MDMA, then the prosecutor must meet the burden of proof to convict for possession of the controlled substance.
- Joint Possession is defined as two or more persons controlling the MDMA. Each individual in control is regarded to be in possession of the same MDMA.
Florida Ecstasy Trafficking Charges
It is illegal (a first-degree felony) to intentionally sell, acquire, produce, distribute, or bring into Florida MDMA, according to Florida Statute 893.135. Possession of 10 grams of MDMA or Ecstasy or more is prosecuted as Drug Trafficking in Palm Beach and Broward County. The levels of MDMA found during an arrest will match the potential jail sentence:
- 10 to 200 grams of ecstasy can result in a minimum of three years in jail and a $50,000 fine, with a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.
- 200 to 400 grams of ecstasy can result in a minimum sentence of seven years in jail, a mandatory fine of $100,000, and a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.
- 400 grams to 30 kilos of ecstasy can result in a minimum of 15 years in jail and a $500,000 fine, with a maximum of 30 years in prison.
Florida drug trafficking laws state that intent counts as doing so. If an individual fails to traffic MDMA and other similar drugs, they can still face a first-degree trafficking felony and three years in prison despite not actually selling the ecstasy. When law enforcement measures a suspect's ecstasy, they also include the dissolvable capsule weight. This artificially increases the defendant's MDMA amount, but it still counts towards penalties. For example, the actual weight of MDMA or Ecstasy contained within the pills may be less than 10 grams, but if the pills collectively weigh more, then you will be prosecuted for Trafficking of MDMA under Florida Law.
Depending on the individual's prior record and attorney's experience, you or your loved one may serve less than a year if caught with ecstasy in West Palm Beach, FL. The punishment for possession, selling, and trafficking of MDMA or Ecstasy in Palm Beach and Broward counties varies. Depending on the amount of MDMA and other factors, it is punishable by prison time, fines, probation, and even driver’s license suspension.
Ecstasy Defense Lawyer in West Palm Beach
While it can be difficult to get a complete dismissal of MDMA trafficking charges in Florida, there are various ways to keep your record clean if you're only caught using MDMA. The evidence may be thrown out if the stop or search was illegal. This is otherwise known as illegal search and seizure, which is protected by the 4th Amendment of The Constitution. Other possible defenses for MDMA Trafficking in West Palm Beach and Broward include entrapment and substantial assistance. Remember that you are innocent until proven guilty and it is the prosecutor’s job to prove without reasonable doubt that you were in constructive possession of MDMA or Ecstasy while in Florida. Most importantly if you were seeking or in need of medical assistance for an MDMA overdose, you will be immune from being prosecuted for possession of MDMA.
Additionally, if you have a minimal record you may qualify for a diversion program that can dismiss your charges. If you or a loved one has been accused of MDMA possession or trafficking in Palm Beach County or Broward County, consult an experienced drug defense attorney at The Law Offices of Matthew Konecky as soon as possible. We are available 24/7 on the website www.matthewkoneckypa.com.