In the matter of ecstasy and possession of drugs, over my years representing clients accused of possessing various sorts of drugs, I have had several clients accused of possession of ecstasy who want to know what kind of punishment they may face.
MDMA, better known as Ecstasy, is a Schedule I drug under Illinois law which means that it is a controlled substance with a high potential for abuse and no currently-accepted medical use for treatment in the United States. Because there is no accepted use of MDMA in the United States, there is no regulation of how MDMA is manufactured and what chemicals that may appear in the drug. This means that sometimes an ecstasy pill is laced with another drug. What the drug is laced with may change what kind of punishment you may face for possession of the drug; for example, if it is laced with methamphetamine, then you could be charged with possession of meth.
For non-laced ecstasy, because ecstasy can be pills, tablets, or powder, the punishment for possession ranges according to the weight of the drug or the number of pills that you have. Under the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, if you have less than 15 grams and less than 15 pills of ecstasy, you will be charged with a Class 4 Felony, meaning you will be punished with between one to three years in prison and may face up to a $25,000 fine. If you have more than 15 grams or 15 pills of ecstasy, you are facing a Class One Felony with sentences as low as four years to as high as fifty years. If you have between 15 to 99 grams of ecstasy, you may face a fine of up to $200,000, and if you have at least 100 grams of ecstasy, you will also face a fine of either $200,000 or equal to the street value of the ecstasy, whichever is greater.
The defense of a charge of possession of ecstasy is fairly simple. The prosecution will have to show that you knowingly possessed ecstasy, a controlled substance, and that the weight or the amount of ecstasy is within the amount listed in the law. The prosecution would have to prove both of these things beyond a reasonable doubt. Arguing that you didn't knowingly possess the ecstasy is a popular defense; We can argue that the weight or amount of ecstasy is less than you are charged with, though this is less often successful because the state has professional labs where they can test the exact weight and chemical compounds of the drug. Finally, we can argue that police stopping or searching you was improper and therefore the evidence of your possession of ecstasy and drug charges shouldn't be considered by the court.
If you are accused of possessing ecstasy or another controlled substance, contact the experienced attorneys at John W. Callahan, Ltd. We have handled thousands of drug cases over the years and we are willing to fight for your case.
–Posted by John W. Callahan, Ltd.