MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is a Schedule I controlled substance (dangerous, no accepted medical use, high potential for abuse) in Florida [Florida Statute § 893.03]. As a result, possession, trafficking, and distribution carry hefty penalties such as imprisonment, fines, and other consequences. In this article, we review Florida MDMA laws; penalties for MDMA possession, sale, and trafficking; and types of defenses.
What is MDMA?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), MDMA (commonly known as ecstasy or “Molly”) is a “synthetic drug that alters mood and perception.” Users may feel euphoria and can even hallucinate.
Molly (short for molecular) is a slang term for what is supposed to be the “purest” powder form of MDMA, but is usually far from it. Instead, because manufacturers often mix Molly (or completely replace it) with other chemical substances, Molly can be extremely harmful or even deadly. Given these frightening results, law enforcement takes MDMA and Molly possession, distribution, and trafficking very seriously.
What are the penalties for possession of MDMA?
Below are some of the punishments that accompany ecstasy-related drug charges.
Loss of Driving Privileges
Under Florida Statute § 322.055, if a court convicts you of MDMA possession, the state will revoke your driver’s license for a minimum of one year. If you do not have a license, the State of Florida will require the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) refuse to issue you a license until the year is up and/or you have completed a drug treatment program.
Jail Sentence and Fines
Aside from facing a driver’s license revocation, you also face jail time for possession of ecstasy. Possession of less than 10 grams of MDMA is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to a $5,000 fine and 5 years in prison [Florida Statute § 893.13(6)(a)]. You will likely also face probation.
Per Florida Statute § 893.13(1)(a), selling, manufacturing delivering, or possessing with intent to deliver less than 10 grams of MDMA is also a third-degree felony.
What are the penalties for trafficking MDMA?
Penalties for distributing and trafficking Molly are much harsher. Pursuant to Florida Statute § 893.135(1)(k), “Any person who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, 10 grams or more of [MDMA]…or any combination of or any mixture containing [MDMA] commits a felony of the first degree.”
In other words, if you sell, purchase, manufacture, deliver, bring into the state, or even simply possess over 10 grams of Molly, you have committed a first-degree felony (trafficking in Phenethylamines), punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
The following describes the minimum penalties for possessing 10 grams or more of MDMA:
- At least 10 grams but less than 200 grams: mandatory minimum imprisonment of three years and a fine of $50,000
- At least 200 grams but less than 400 grams: at least seven years in prison and a fine of $100,000
- 400 grams or more: mandatory minimum imprisonment of 15 years and a fine of $250,000
Further penalties can apply under special circumstances. For example, if you knew the probable result of your distribution would be someone’s death, you face capital felony charges. Similarly, penalties may be higher if you possess, distribute, or traffic MDMA near a school or church. [Florida Statute 893.13(1)(e)(2)]
What are possible defenses to MDMA charges?
Call the attorneys at Goldman Wetzel today to schedule a consultation. We will go over your case in detail and decide together the best course of action. There are several defenses available to fight ecstasy charges; however, because every case is different, we can only provide counsel upon reviewing the specific facts of your case.
Possible defenses for possession, distribution, and trafficking include:
- Unlawful search and seizure: If law enforcement officers found the drugs as a result of an unlawful search and seizure, the evidence may be inadmissible.
- Failure to follow the proper procedure: If officers failed to follow proper procedure, such as if drugs were misplaced in the chain of command, we may be able to get your charges thrown out or reduced.
- The drugs are not yours: If the drugs belong to your friend and you did not know he left them in your car, we may able to use this as a defense.
Drug charges, especially for something as dangerous as MDMA or Molly, can ruin your life; do not fight them alone. For a free consultation and legal representation from a criminal defense lawyer who handles MDMA and other drug-related charges in St. Petersburg, contact Goldman Wetzel today.