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California Ecstasy Laws

California Ecstasy Laws

MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine), also known as “ecstasy”, is considered to be a schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act. It is a non-medical drug with a high potential for abuse. It is also an extremely stimulating drug, making it a popular party drug often used at raves, clubs, etc. Although it is a popular recreational drug for these types of gatherings, it can have very dangerous side effects ranging from panic attacks to dehydration, blurred vision, and heat strokes.

Ecstasy is an illegal substance in the state of California; therefore, selling, transporting, or using the drug, as well as driving under its influence are all illegal. However, penalties vary depending on the specific crime being committed. Continue reading to find out more about penalties for crimes related to ecstasy.

1. Penalties for Ecstasy Crimes

Simple Possession of MDMA

Health and Safety Code 11377 HS is California’s law against the personal use of controlled substances, including ecstasy. Typically, violating this law will result in being charged with a misdemeanor, however, you may also be charged with:

  • As much as one year in jail
  • A maximum fine of $1,000

Jail time can often be substituted with participation in a drug diversion program 

A history of serious crimes such as sex crimes that officially categorize offenders as sex offenders, murder, gross vehicular manslaughter, and sex crimes against a minor under fourteen, etc. will result in more severe charges. These charges could be sixteen months to three years in jail.

Penalties Selling MDMA

Possession of ecstasy with the intent to sell is a crime under Health and Safety code 11378 HS, California’s law against purchasing and/or possessing a controlled substance to sell it. 

Penalties for violating Health and Safety Code 11378 HS are:

  • 16 months in jail
  • 2-3 years in jail
  • A maximum fine of $10,000

Drug diversion is not eligible for those who are charged with possession of ecstasy with the intent to sell.

Penalties for Selling and/or Transporting MDMA

Violations of California’s law against transporting/selling controlled substances (Health and Safety Code 11379 HS) are as follows:

  • Importing MDMA into the state of California
  • Giving someone MDMA
  • Administering MDMA to someone
  • Supplying someone with MDMA in any shape or form

Penalties for the crimes listed above are:

  • A maximum fine of $10,000
  • 2-3 years in jail

If you are charged with transporting ecstasy across multiple country lines, you may receive up to nine years in jail. If you are an immigrant, regardless of your legal immigration status, you may be deported.

Charges may also be more severe if the person you gave the drugs to was pregnant, was convicted of a violent felony in the past, or was under treatment for a mental disorder and/or had a drug addiction. In this case, you may be charged with a four-year term. 

Driving under the influence of MDMA

To be charged with driving under the influence (Vehicle Code 23152(f) VC), you must have had enough of the drug in your system that you were impaired enough for the safety of your driving to have been affected. Being charged with this crime will result in fines and/or jail time with no option of drug diversion.

2. Defenses for Ecstasy Crime Charges

There are several defenses your attorney may take to defend your case, depending on the specific details of the supposed crime you are being charged with, including:

  1. Your impairment was due to something other than the influence of ecstasy, such as exhaustion.
  2. You were only in possession of ecstasy for personal use and not to distribute.
  3. You were falsely accused, or your identity was otherwise mistaken.
  4. You were the victim of entrapment (an officer coerced you into possessing/selling ecstasy).
  5. You were the victim of another form of police misconduct, such as illegal search and seizure.

If you or someone you know is being charged with a crime involving MDMA, consider contacting us for a free consultation with one of our professional California ecstasy attorneys at the H Law Group.

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