Possession of MDMA or Ecstasy
If you are facing possession of MDMA charges in Pittsburgh, it is imperative that you understand the consequences of a conviction even if this is your first offense. Under Pennsylvania’s schedule of dangerous drugs, MDMA is considered a Schedule I drug meaning it has no approved medical use and has a high potential for abuse.
Potential MDMA Charges
Because there is a possibility that you will face enhanced charges, it is important to be aware of the potential outcome. Conviction of a possession of MDMA charge may be considered a misdemeanor charge provided the prosecutor does not find ways of enhancing the charges against you to attempt to get it up to felony charges. A simple misdemeanor charge can still have serious consequences; up to one year in prison and fines of up to $5,000. But, this is assuming you are not facing additional charges including:
- Intent to distribute – In some cases, a law enforcement officer may believe you intended to distribute MDMA or ecstasy. A possession charge could mean you will be facing felony charges including longer jail sentences and higher fines. In Pennsylvania, distribution charges could be lodged if you have more than one pill on your person at the time if your arrest.
- Distributing MDMA or ecstasy – If you are in possession of multiple pills and a law enforcement officer believes they witnessed a sale of the drug, you will face felony charges in Pennsylvania and in some cases, you could also be facing federal drug charges.
- Paraphernalia charges – Oftentimes, prosecutors will file separate charges of paraphernalia possession if you have been arrested on any drug charge. Even though most of these charges are misdemeanors, when added onto the drug possession charges, it could mean longer jail time and stiffer fines.
There are some “enhancements” that can be devastating even if you are found with ecstasy or MDMA on your person. Defendants found in possession in a school zone, with a weapon on their person or during the commission of another crime will often face enhanced crimes meaning longer sentences and higher fines.
Anyone who has faced a single drug charge in Pittsburgh and been found guilty will face a much more difficult second arrest. A second guilty finding could mean up to twice as long in jail and fines that could take you a lifetime to repay.
Drug offenders who have been convicted in Pittsburgh will likely lose the right to drive for up to six months. However, if you are convicted of felony drug charge, you will additional consequences that are much harsher including the potential loss of professional licenses, potential seizure of assets, difficulty finding work after you have served jail time and difficulty finding housing.
Drug charges must be taken seriously and because it is not always clear immediately after an arrest if you are facing state or both state and federal charges, it is imperative that you reach out to a criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible. Keep in mind, the less you say to law enforcement officers after your arrest, the easier it will be for them to find something to use against you in court proceedings.
Although being arrested on a drug charge is troublesome, an arrest and a conviction are two very different things and being arrested does not mean you will automatically be found guilty. Whether you have been arrested and are facing possession of ecstasy or MDMA charges or more complicated drug charges, an attorney can help.
Pennsylvania law does not require law enforcement officers to find you with ecstasy on your person; if police believe you have a reasonable knowledge that the drug is in your home or automobile you could still be facing charges. It is never a good idea to risk having a criminal record or risk your freedom.