Ecstasy is a drug that is also known on the street as MDMA or X. Because ecstasy reputedly induces euphoria and increases intimacy, it’s often used recreationally at raves, music festivals, and clubs. Sometimes, people take it with other drugs. Federal law classifies ecstasy as a Schedule I drug, which means it has no medical use and carries a high potential for abuse. In Arizona, it’s considered a dangerous drug. If you are investigated for or charged with ecstasy distribution, you should schedule a consultation with Phoenix drug crime attorney James E. Novak.Ecstasy Distribution
Arizona lawmakers have deemed ecstasy as a “dangerous drug,” which means activities associated with ecstasy are punished harshly under A.R.S. section 13-3407. It is a class 4 felony to possess or use ecstasy. However, it is a class 2 felony to distribute it, whether by possessing it for sale, manufacturing it, administering it, transporting it or importing it into Arizona.
A Phoenix prosecutor trying to secure an ecstasy distribution conviction will need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt you: (1) knowingly, (2) transported ecstasy for sale or imported it into Arizona or you offered to transport or import ecstasy for sale, or you sold or offered to sell ecstasy.
Arizona presumes that a drug is intended for distribution if a person possesses more than a threshold amount, even if the intent was solely for personal use. For ecstasy, the threshold amount is 4 grams. Even if you have less than 4 grams of ecstasy, you still could be charged with ecstasy distribution based on other surrounding factors. For example, if you have a lot of cash on hand, a small quantity of drugs, and drug paraphernalia, such as containers, baggies, and scales, you still may face drug distribution charges despite possessing less than the threshold amount. If you are facing a drug distribution charge, speak with a defense lawyer to protect your legal rights.Penalties
Phoenix prosecutors charge drug distribution as a felony. While defendants may be sentenced within a minimum and maximum range of imprisonment, they often receive the presumptive sentence for drug distribution, which may be adjusted based on mitigating and aggravating factors. In order to sentence you to an aggravated term, the prosecutor must prove that at least two aggravating circumstances are true beyond a reasonable doubt or that you admitted them to be true. Aggravated terms could be imposed where there was an accomplice or where someone over the age of 65 was victimized. Judges can also sentence defendants to mitigated or shorter terms where two mitigating circumstances are present and proven beyond a reasonable doubt. There may be a mitigating circumstance, for example, if your participation in the crime was minor.
If you are convicted of the class 2 felony for ecstasy distribution, you face 3 – 12½ years of jail time with a presumptive term of 5 years. In addition, you may face the imposition of fines, community service, and mandatory drug testing.Defenses
You shouldn’t assume a conviction for ecstasy distribution is assured, even if you were caught with the threshold amount. The prosecution must prove every element beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a rigorous burden. In some cases, the defense may challenge that reasonable doubt exists with regard to one or more elements. For example, there may be reasonable doubt whether you “knowingly” distributed the drugs. In other cases, it may be appropriate to raise constitutional or procedural defenses. For example, if the police investigation was flawed because the police lacked probable cause to search the place where the ecstasy was found, it may be possible to suppress the evidence of drugs at trial.Consult a Seasoned Attorney in Phoenix
Because prosecutors treat ecstasy distribution seriously, it is vital to consult with an experienced lawyer. Our principal James Novak has many years of experience defending those charged with drug distribution in and around Phoenix including in Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, and Maricopa County. Call him at (480) 413-1499 or contact him through our online form.