The drug known as “Ecstasy” has become increasingly popular since it first appeared in nightclubs toward the end of the 20th century. Consequently, both the state and federal governments have enacted harsher penalties for a conviction of an Ecstasy drug crime. A Murfreesboro criminal attorney at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby explains the penalties for an Ecstasy drug crime conviction in Tennessee.
What Is Ecstasy?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA) is a synthetic drug that alters mood and perception. It is chemically similar to both stimulants and hallucinogens, producing feelings of increased energy, pleasure, emotional warmth, and distorted sensory and time perception. Ecstasy, also commonly referred to as “Molly,” is MDNA in capsule form; however, many capsules that purport to be MDNA actually contain a variety of other substances as well, such as methamphetamine, ketamine, caffeine, ephedrine, heroin, phencyclidine (PCP), and cocaine. the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Potential Federal Penalties for Distribution of Ecstasy
Both the federal and state government can investigate and prosecute crimes related to the distribution of drugs. In fact, you could be charged by both the state and federal government. If you are facing a federal prosecution for distribution of MDMA, you should know that in 2001 the United States Sentencing Commission amended the Federal Sentencing Guidelines to provide harsher sentences for offenses involving Ecstasy. For example, the amended Guidelines increased the average penalty for Ecstasy trafficking from 34 to 73 months’ imprisonment. In fact, under the new guidelines, you could be sentenced to more time for distribution of Ecstasy than for powder cocaine.
Ecstasy is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance under the federal Controlled Substance Act. A conviction for trafficking any amount of Molly as a first offense carries a potential term of imprisonment of up to 20 years. If death or serious injury occur as a result, you face a sentence of 20 to life in prison. You may also be ordered to pay a fine of up to $1 million. For a second conviction for trafficking Molly, you could be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison and if death or serious injury occur you will receive a mandatory life sentence. You may also be ordered to pay a fine of up to $2 million.
A conviction for possession of any controlled substance, including Ecstasy, at the federal level carries a potential penalty of up to one year in prison and/or a minimum fine of $1,000. A second conviction is punishable by not less than 15 days but not more than two years in prison and a minimum fine of $2,500. Subsequent convictions are punishable by not less than 90 days but not more than three years in prison and a minimum fine of $5,000.
Tennessee Penalties for Ecstasy Drug Crimes
If you are charged and ultimately convicted of an Ecstasy related drug crime by the State of Tennessee you could face the following penalties:
- Simple Possession. First or second conviction of simple possession or casual exchange of MDMA or ecstasy is a Class A misdemeanor, which carries up to a year in jail and/or up to a $2,500 fine. Third time and subsequent convictions of simple possession are a Class E felony which carries up to six years in prison and/or a fine of up to $3,000.
- Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession with Intent to Sell. Anything under 300 grams is a Class B felony that carries a potential sentence of between eight and 30 years in prison. If over 300 grams of Ecstasy is involved, you can be charged with a Class A felony. If convicted, you face up to 60 years in prison.
Contact a Murfreesboro Criminal Lawyer
If you have been charged with a state or federal drug offense involving Ecstasy, consult with an experienced Murfreesboro criminal attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options. In Tennessee contact a Murfreesboro criminal lawyer at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby to discuss your legal options. Contact the team today by calling 615-898-1560 to schedule your appointment.