Possession of Ecstasy
Ecstasy, also known as MDMA or Molly, has become a popular recreational drug among club-goers in recent years. In fact, the drug was deemed responsible for several teenage deaths in the early 2000s, which led to stricter laws and harsher punishments for those convicted of ecstasy possession in Illinois.
When you’re charged with ecstasy possession, you face steep fines and a potential jail or prison sentence if you’re found guilty, as well as other long-lasting consequences. The effects of a conviction for possession of ecstasy in Illinois can include:
- A jail or prison sentence — possibly decades
- Expensive fines and court fees — up to hundreds of thousands of dollars
- A permanent criminal record that can prevent you from getting a good job
- Being barred from receiving financial aid to pay for college or university classes
- Losing your professional license and being unable to practice law, medicine, or nursing, or to work as a teacher, pharmacist, or other licensed professional
- Losing your custody or visitation rights to your children
- Losing your immigration visa or permanent resident status, denied citizenship, or being deported
For these reasons, it’s highly recommended that you contact a skilled Illinois drug defense lawyer if you’ve been charged. A great defense lawyer can help you fight the charge and possibly get it dismissed or reduced so that you can move on from the stressful experience of a criminal charge.
Defining Possession of Ecstasy
Illinois treats possession of ecstasy as a serious offense. It is a felony crime under 720 ILCS 570/402 no matter how much — or how little — you are alleged to possess.
In order to convict you of ecstasy possession, a prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you:
- Were in possession of an illegal drug
- The drug was ecstasy
- You knew it was ecstasy
- You knew you were in possession
“Possession” doesn’t necessarily mean that someone has ecstasy on his or her person (such as in a jacket pocket or backpack) when arrested. In fact, “possession” can mean that someone is near—and has access to—the drug at the heart of the case. This means that someone can still be charged with possession if the drug is found in a common area, such as in a coffee table drawer or the glove compartment of a car.
You can be charged if a prosecutor can prove that you were in either actual or constructive possession of ecstasy.
- Actual Possession — This is how most people think of possession, and includes having ecstasy on your person.
- Constructive Possession — This is a more vague idea of possession, and includes having ecstasy within your “dominion and control,” which means you can take actual possession at any time, such as having ecstasy in your gym locker or hidden in your apartment.
You may have a defense to a possession of ecstasy charge if you can demonstrate that you did not have dominion and control over the drug and therefore were not in possession.
Penalties for a Possession of Ecstasy Conviction
Given its role in the death of Illinois teenagers nearly 20 years ago, the felony laws surrounding ecstasy possession are extraordinarily harsh. Some of the possible penalties associated with ecstasy possession include:
- Those convicted of possessing up to 15 tablets may face 3 to 6 years in prison and fines of up to $25,000.
- Those convicted of possessing between 15 and 200 tablets may face 4 to 15 years in prison and fines of up to $200,000.
- Those convicted of possessing between 200 and 600 tablets may face 6 to 30 years in prison and fines of up to $200,000 (or the full street value of the drugs).
- Those convicted of possessing between 600 and 1,500 tablets may face 8 to 40 years in prison and fines of up to $200,000 (or the full street value of the drugs).
- Those convicted of possessing more than 1,500 tablets may face 10 to 50 years in prison and fines of up to $200,000 (or the full street value of the drugs).
Other possible consequences of a felony conviction for ecstasy possession may include:
- Losing your right to vote
- Losing your right to possess firearms
Common Defenses to Possession of Ecstasy Charges
Proving ecstasy possession can be extremely difficult. Law enforcement officials may make mistakes during the investigation or arrest or the facts of the case may exonerate someone accused of possession.
Because an ecstasy possession charge means potentially lengthy jail or prison sentences and enormous fines, Chicago criminal defense attorney Michael O’Meara takes seriously the task of fully investigating a charge and working to defend you. These are some of the common defenses he has used in fighting drug charges or arguing for leniency.
- Investigation errors: Did officials receive incorrect information from an informant? Did they skirt the law in using wiretaps? Did they follow the law throughout an investigation? O’Meara will look closely at the broader investigation to answer those questions and determine whether they apply to your case.
- Rights violations: Those arrested are entitled to certain legal rights. O’Meara will investigate whether your legal search and seizure rights were violated as part of your arrest.
- Mental health: Mental illness and mental health struggles are more common than many of us like to admit. If these factors are relevant to a case, O’Meara will ask prosecutors, the judge, or jury members to take them into account.
- Substance abuse treatment: If you have no prior criminal history, O’Meara may seek a drug diversion program or treatment as part of your sentence.
Everything O’Meara Law LLC does on your behalf is designed to obtain the best possible outcome for your charge. Depending on your circumstances, possible outcomes may include:
- Having your charges dismissed
- Being found not guilty
- Having your charges reduced to something less serious
- Being allowed to complete drug treatment in lieu of a jail or a prison sentence
- Persuading a judge to be lenient in light of particular circumstances
How Chicago Defense Attorney Michael O’Meara Can Help
Chicago drug defense attorney Michael O’Meara offers compassionate and dedicated representation for people accused of drug crimes. If you’ve been accused of ecstasy possession, he can help you with all facets of your case, including understanding the nature of your charge and the possible consequences and working to obtain a just resolution that allows you to move forward with your life.
O’Meara has the demonstrated legal prowess to defend you against a serious drug charge such as possession of ecstasy. He has more than 20 years of legal experience — including both prosecuting and defending criminal charges — and prides himself on looking at every angle of every case. He uses his unique experience on both sides of the criminal process to build a strong defense designed to get you the best possible outcome for your case.
If you are facing possession of ecstasy charges, it is vital to contact an attorney who’s eager to take your case and defend your rights. Contact O’Meara Law LLC today at 312-909-0706 for a free consultation and to learn more about fighting your possession of ecstasy charge.