Ecstasy, also known as molly or MDMA, is an extremely popular street and club drug. Ecstasy is a synthetic molecule (meaning it does not appear in nature) that was invented in 1912 and became popular as a street drug beginning in the 1980’s. Ecstasy is one of the most popular drugs with young people and is used regularly in festivals and clubs. Ecstasy is also gaining acceptance as a treatment for PTSD. Ecstasy is sold as pills (which are often mixed with other substances), or pure MDMA crystals, which is often referred to as molly.
Under Texas law, however, possession of ecstasy is a serious crime, with potentially serious consequences. According to Texas Health Code 481.116, MDMA is a Penalty Group 2 drug and a person charged with possession of ecstasy can face the following penalties:
-Less than one gram: State jail felony punishable by up to 2 years in jail and a $10,000 fine.
-1-4 grams: Third-degree felony punishable by 2-10 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
-4-400 grams: Second-degree felony punishable by 2-20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
-400 grams or more: A potential prison sentence of 5-99 years and a fine of up to $50,000.
In Texas, the weight of a controlled substance is typically calculated by weighing the entire substance, including adulterants and dilutants (in other words, any other substances mixed with the MDMA). This means that if you possess MDMA in pill form, then your sentencing range will be calculated based on the entire weight of the pill, even if the pill contains only a small amount of MDMA.
In the Houston area, if you are arrested for the possession of any controlled substance, you will be arrested and taken to jail where you will see a magistrate judge who will set a bond amount. After you bond out of jail, you will be given a court date. Your first court date in a possession of a controlled substance case will typically involve the judge setting bond conditions that must be followed throughout the case. Many people who have never been arrested before believe that the first court date is a trial, or involves the presentation of evidence, but that is not the case.
Once your bond conditions are set at your first court appearance, your attorney should work to obtain all of the evidence in the case. In a typical possession of controlled substance case, this includes police reports, lab reports and possibly search warrants. Virtually every possession of a controlled substance case involves a search of a home, vehicle or person, and a drug possession attorney should always works to challenge the legality of the search. Additionally, a drug possession attorney should also challenge whether prosecutors can prove that a defendant knowingly possessed ecstasy or MDMA. Finally, in some cases, it is possible to challenge the validity and reliability of lab tests done to identify the ecstasy or MDMA. It is important to remember that it is always the prosecutor’s burden to prove every element of the case, and a drug possession attorney should attack every element of the case in every way possible.
The goal of a possession of ecstasy case should always be dismissal. Most first-time possession of a controlled substance cases – including cases alleging the possession of ecstasy or MDMA – will not result in jail time, for possession of personal use amounts. Instead, the real danger is that a defendant could end up on probation with a conviction for possession of a controlled substance. A conviction for possession of a controlled substance will stay on your record forever and have long-lasting personal and professional consequences.
Fortunately, in many cases, it is possible to protect your record and prevent a conviction for possession of ecstasy. As noted above, the first thing a drug possession attorney must do is obtain the evidence and thoroughly challenge every stage of the investigation.
But even if your case does not contain any legal or factual issues that lead to the dismissal of your case, it is often possible to get a possession of ecstasy case dismissed through a pre-trial diversion (sometimes referred to as a PTI or PTD). A pre-trial diversion is a program created by a District Attorney’s Office that will lead to the dismissal of a case if certain conditions are met. In most cases, a pre-trial diversion program is similar to being on probation, except for the fact that your case will be dismissed if the program is completed successfully (and then you would be eligible to have your records expunged). For many reasons, it is much better to get a dismissal as a result of a legal or factual problem with your case. However, a pre-trial diversion is a good “plan b” for many defendants as it provides a guaranteed way of getting your case dismissed, if completed successfully.
Getting arrested for possession of ecstasy can be extremely stressful but it is possible to protect your record and your future. Hiring the right attorney can maximize your chances of keeping a possession of ecstasy case off of your record. If you are arrested for possession of ecstasy anywhere in the Greater Houston area, call Ceja Law Firm today.