Based in Salt Lake City, the criminal defense attorneys at Intermountain Legal have extensive experience representing people accused of drug crimes in Utah, including charges involving MDMA, which has widely become known as ecstasy.
Utah Courts & Law Enforcement Take Ecstasy Use Seriously
Ecstasy (also referred to as “E,” “X,”, or “XTC”) is often dismissively referred to as a “club drug,” making its use seem innocent or even glamorous. In many cases, people who experiment with ecstasy are young partygoers and other recreational drug users who do not realize the serious implications of being found in possession of ecstasy. Also because of the party culture in which ecstasy is used, people may pass ecstasy tablets among friends, not even realizing they are committing a crime of distribution.
According to the National Substance Abuse Index, law enforcement officers consider ecstasy to be the largest drug threat in Utah after methamphetamine (meth). Thus, being found with ecstasy carries severe consequences, even if the amount is small. Many people are surprised to learn that possession of even less than one tablet of ecstasy can be charged as a felony.
Ecstasy Charges Carry Severe Penalties
Ecstasy is classified as a Schedule I drug under the Utah Controlled Substances Act. Possession of a Schedule I drug is considered a third degree felony, which is punishable by up to five years in prison and $5,000 in fines. However, extenuating circumstances may increase your charge. For example, if you have a prior conviction for distributing or manufacturing and are now facing a possession charge, your charge will be elevated one classification. This means a normal third degree felony possession charge will now be a second degree felony charge punishable by one to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
If you face ecstasy distribution charges, the potential penalties are even more severe. Ecstasy distribution is classified as a first degree felony, which carries a prison sentence of five years to life and up to $10,000 in fines.
Utah Drug Court
Utah has established special drug courts to handle many drug cases. If you are charged with ecstasy possession, or even distribution, you may be able to plead guilty in drug court and enter treatment, avoiding a prison sentence and a criminal record. You will be subject to drug tests, regular meetings with the court, and other requirements similar to probation; however, your guilty plea is stayed and upon successful completion of all requirements, your charges will be dismissed. We are knowledgeable about all of the treatment alternatives to incarceration, and whenever possible, we work to qualify our clients for such options.
Seek Experienced, Effective Defense Representation
If you have been charged with ecstasy possession or distribution in Salt Lake County, you need an attorney with experience handling drug cases in Utah courts. Do not hesitate to contact Intermountain Legal to discuss your charges and options during a free initial consultation.