Ecstasy (MDMA) Trafficking Criminal Defense Lawyers in Florida
How to Beat a Drug Trafficking Charge in the State of Florida
MDMA, or 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine, might be better known by the street names of “Molly” or “Ecstasy.” By whatever name the synthetic drug is known, it is a highly dangerous synthetic drug. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that that MDMA infuses energy, alters mood, lowers inhibition, and potentially increases sexual desire, along with pleasure. The drug is made in a factory with companions of hallucinogenic drugs as well as stimulants. Many people take either molly or ecstasy when attending “rave” dance parties, but not exclusively.
The severe health danger MDMA poses for users, the substantial likelihood that a user will abuse the drug, coupled with no recognized use in the medical community, makes MDMA a Schedule I drug under Section 893.03 of the Florida Statutes. As a result, trafficking of MDMA in Florida is classified as a first-degree felony, which carries the potential of 30 years in state prison.
Florida Statutes §893.135 sets out the range of minimum-mandatory prison sentences for trafficking narcotics like MDMA in Florida. The minimum-mandatory prison sentences correspond to the weight of the drug. Under §893.135(1)(k)(1), possessing, either by actual, physical possession, constructively possessing, selling, possessing with the intent to sell, manufacturing, or bringing into the state of Florida 10 grams of MDMA constitutes trafficking in phenethylamines.
Trafficking in phenethylamines is a serious criminal offense in Florida. A person convicted of trafficking in phenethylamines between 10 grams and 200 grams must serve at least three years in jail without the possibility of early release. The court must also impose a fine of $50,000.00. The minimum-mandatory sentence increases to seven years, accompanied by a fine of $100,000.00, for any person convicted of trafficking in MDMA between 200 grams and 400 grams. A person convicted of trafficking in MDMA of any amount exceeding 400 grams must serve a fifteen-year minimum-mandatory prison term and pay a fine of $250,000.00.
One crime related to MDMA could be a capital offense as well. Any person convicted of importing or manufacturing 30 kilograms or more of phenethylamines, such as MDMA, is guilty of a capital offense, provided that the government could prove that the accused knew or should have known that the likely result of manufacturing or importing phenethylamines would be the death of another person.
When prosecutors consider charges related to trafficking drugs like MDMA in Florida, they consider the weight of the mixture and not just the weight of the active ingredient in the drug to determine the appropriate trafficking charge. At first, 10 grams of MDMA might seem like a large number of pills. It is not. The prosecution could consider the weight of the whole pill to ascertain which trafficking charge applies. Therefore, having only a small amount of MDMA in Florida could constitute MDMA trafficking.
The person facing trafficking ecstasy or Molly charges has to worry about sanctions beyond incarceration and fines. The state must suspend the driver’s license of every person convicted of trafficking ecstasy or Molly for at least one year. Additionally, any person holding a professional license granted by the state could face disciplinary action, which could be as severe as revocation or suspension.
Common Defenses Against Ecstasy or Molly Trafficking Charges in Florida
The particular defense strategy used to defend trafficking in ecstasy charges may change from case-to-case. The appropriate defense tactics used in a given case will hinge upon the facts of the case. An in-depth examination of all of the facts and circumstances surrounding the investigation conducted by law enforcement officials outlined reveal both pre-trial and trial defenses.
Although the primary aim of a defense attorney is to have the case dismissed from court, that is not always possible. However, there are numerous defenses that are commonly used in Florida which could lead to a dismissal, a reduced charge, or severely damage the prosecution’s case at trial so the jury acquits the accused.
When defending a case involving ecstasy trafficking charges in Florida, a seasoned defense attorney will scrutinize the actions of the law enforcement investigators to determine if the officers violated the rights of the accused. Any evidence obtained by the police as a result of an unlawful search must be suppressed, meaning that the prosecution cannot offer suppressed items as evidence of guilt at trial. Accordingly, when the police execute a search warrant that was not supported by probable cause, or searched a person without justification, the court will order the evidence seized by the officers stemming from their unlawful conduct to be suppressed.
The goal of filing a motion to suppress is to convince the court that the evidence, such as drugs, money, packaging materials, drug presses, drug ledgers, and other indicators of drug dealing, was seized unlawfully by police, and, as a result, the prosecution cannot offer the items at trial as a penalty. If the judge suppresses all of the contraband seized by police, then the prosecution will be left without a case and could dismiss the matter entirely.
Suppression applies to items seized by police despite their claim that the suspect gave his or her consent to the police to search. Consent must be voluntary. In other words, the police cannot coerce or pressure anyone into “consenting” to a search. Police like consent searches because getting consent means they do not have to apply for a search warrant. Consequently, police pressure people into allowing them to search, which is a violation of the suspect’s rights and could result in suppression of all of the seized evidence.
Entrapment can be a viable defense in the correct case. Entrapment means that the police charged a person with a crime after the police convinced the individual to commit a crime he or she was not otherwise predisposed to commit.
Another common defense to trafficking ecstasy charges in Florida is not a trial defense but a method to reduce prison time. Florida’s trafficking statute gives a person accused of trafficking narcotics an incentive to cooperate with police. If the judge finds that the individual gave the police substantial assistance, then the judge could allow the prosecution’s request to impose a sentence that does not involve any minimum-mandatory time.
Another common defense strategy at trial is the “reasonable doubt defense.” The reasonable doubt defense highlights the weaknesses in the government’s case and convinces the jury that the prosecution failed to prove all of the elements of trafficking in ecstasy beyond a reasonable doubt.
Protect Your Legal Rights by Calling Musca Law Today
Contact Musca Law today at (888) 484-5057 to speak with one of our well-trained and highly-experienced Florida ecstasy trafficking defense lawyers. Don’t wait - take the initiative and call us now to protect your freedom and learn more about your legal rights and options.