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Possession of MDMA ('Ecstasy') and Possession for Sale - HS 11377 and HS 11378

Unlike other drugs like Cocaine or Heroin, MDMA or 3,4 Methylenedioxymethamphetamine does not provide hallucinations. It is often used as a relaxant and to bring a euphoric state to users.

Also known as ecstasy, or a ‘rave drug’, MDMA is popular with young people who party and is common at parties, concerts and clubs.

MDMA or ecstasy comes in the form of tablets and often contains hallucinogens as the main ingredient. The drug acts on the mind and causes people to see and feel nonexistent things.

The drug is emotionally damaging and leads to severe depression, paranoia, anxiety and confusion and users often exhibit psychotic behaviors and a host of other psychological problems.

MDMA is classified as a “controlled Substance Act” in the United States. Its manufacture, possession and use is regulated by the government. The Act classifies the drug in the Schedule I of the Act, meaning:

  • The drug has no currently accepted medicinal use.
  • The drug has a high potential for abuse
  • There is no medically approved safe use of the drug
Possession of MDMA for personal use

Possession of MDMA in California is a violation of Health and Safety Code 11377 HS. The prosecutor may choose to file the case as misdemeanor now that Prop 47 classifies all California possession cases as misdemeanors.

If convicted of misdemeanor, the accused may be ordered to serve a jail term of not more than one year and pay a maximum of a one thousand dollar fine.

Drug diversion program may also be available in MDMA cases. Drug diversion is a program offered to drug offenders to undergo treatment and rehabilitation instead of serving a jail term, and their charges are dismissed upon successful completion.

Possession of MDMA with intent to sell

Possession of MDMA with the intention of selling is classified as a felony in California. If convicted, the offender may serve a penalty of sixteen months, or two years, or three years in prison and a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars.

As a defendant, you may be able to negotiate for a lesser charge of possession for personal consumption instead of possession for sale. At trial, you may be able to convince the jury that you did not intend to sell. If you can convince the judge or the jury that the drugs were for personal use, you could be eligible for a drug diversion program.

Some facts that may influence whether the prosecutor (in negotiations) or a jury (at trial) believes that you possessed the drug for personal use include:

  • Whether you have any other convictions that involve controlled substances before the current charges,
  • Whether you were on parole or probation while you picked up the charge,
  • Whether you did not complete drug diversion program in the past or the program was terminated or deferred in the past five years before the current charges,
  • Whether you possessed indicia for sale.

Some indicia for sale may include pay-owe sheets, scales, baggies, large amounts of cash, text messages establishing a time and date and location to meet with individuals or other references to buying or selling drugs.

If you are charged with possession or possession for sale, contact an experienced attorney to evaluate these defenses.

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