North Carolina’s drug possession laws are very strict, and you could be charged with crimes more serious than just possession if you are arrested when in possession of ecstasy. Even a charge of possession of ecstasy is a felony crime. This means that you could face a prison sentence, fines, and a criminal record for the rest of your life. If you are found in possession of large quantities of ecstasy, you could also be charged with federal felony charges.
While it can be much more challenging to defend against ecstasy charges than possession of marijuana, you could have defenses that may result in the charges being dismissed or reduced to a lesser charge. However, you cannot expect to achieve this outcome unless you retain an experienced criminal defense attorney who can investigate the facts surrounding your crime and help build your defense.
What Is Ecstasy?
Ecstasy is an illegal drug that acts as a stimulant and psychedelic. Its active ingredients include methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or MDA), but other illegal substances are also often found in it when it is analyzed. Ecstasy is usually ingested in capsule or pill form.
What Crimes Could You Be Charged With If You Are Found in Possession of Ecstasy?
North Carolina drug schedules divide controlled dangerous substances into six schedules, with Schedule I being the most dangerous drugs that have no medical purpose and a high probability of abuse and addiction. Ecstasy is a Schedule I drug. Felonies are classified by letters A through I, with Class A felonies being the most serious. If you are arrested and found to be in possession of ecstasy, you could be charged with one or more of these crimes:
- Possession. You can be found guilty of possession of ecstasy if you knowingly possessed MDA or MDNA. Possession of the drug can include more than physical possession, such as having control over the area where this drug was found. Possession is a Class I felony—the least serious felony charge.
- Manufacture. You could be convicted of manufacture of MDA or MDNA if you knowingly manufactured it, such as producing, preparing, processing, and labeling it. This is also a Class I felony.
- Sale. Sale or distribution of MDA or MDNA is a Class H felony, and you could be convicted of this crime if it is proven that you knowingly sold or delivered MDA or MDNA to another person.
- Intent to manufacture, sell, or distribute. If you are found in possession of ecstasy, you could be charged with possession of MDA or MDNA with the intent to manufacture, sell, or distribute it—a Class H felony. To be convicted, the prosecutor must prove that you knowingly possessed the drug and had the intent to manufacture, sell, or distribute it.
- Trafficking. Trafficking in MDA or MDNA involves knowingly selling, manufacturing, delivering, transporting or possessing MDA or MDNA, or a mixture. Depending on the quantity of ecstasy found—ranging from 28 to 400 grams—you could be charged with a Class C, D, F, or G felony.
What Penalties Could You Face?
While North Carolina law has guidelines on sentences for different classes of felonies, your sentence in part will be based on your prior criminal history. However, knowing the range of possible sentences can be helpful. You could be facing the following prison sentences:
- Class I felony. While the sentencing range is three months to one year in prison, you are more likely to receive a sentence of six months to one year.
- Class H felony. You could face a sentence between 6 and 30 months in prison.
- Trafficking felony conviction. Depending on the quantity of ecstasy found and what class felony you are convicted of, you could be sentenced to between 70 to 225 months in prison.
Are You Looking for a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Charlotte, NC?
If you are facing criminal charges, you need to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Charlotte office directly at 980.207.3355 to schedule your free consultation.