What are the legal consequences of selling ecstasy? 18 Answers as of April 18, 2011

Our 19 year old son was caught with ecstasy at his college in California. We are told that he was caught with many pills and that he was selling them to friends at his fraternity. We really do not know all of the details yet, it happened just last night. He does not have a criminal record. What is the best way that we can help him at this point?

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Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
Get him a good lawyer. He is charged with a very serious offense that will haunt him the rest of his life if it is not handled properly.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/18/2011
Law Offices of Lawrence Wolf
Law Offices of Lawrence Wolf | Lawrence Wolf
There are several options to get the case dismissed depending on additional facts. Give us a call.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/15/2011
The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman
The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman | Gabriel Dorman
The best way to help your son at this point is to immediately contact and hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to begin defending your son. The consequences for possession for sale of ecstasy can be severe. In your question, you indicate your son was caught selling ecstasy. Possession for sale of ecstasy in violation of California Health and Safety Code Section 11378 is a felony punishable by 16 months, or two or three years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine. However, possession of ecstasy for personal use or "simple possession" in violation of California Health and Safety Code Section 11377 is known as a "wobbler" which means it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony offense. A misdemeanor possession of ecstasy subjects you to up to one year in county jail and a maximum $1,000 fine. A felony punishable by 16 months, or two or three years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine. An important distinction between the two (simple possession and possession for sales) is that a charge of simple possession may be eligible for a drug diversion program which could ultimately keep your son's record clean. Drug diversion is not an option with possession for sales cases. Now, whether or not the District Attorney can actually prove your son was selling ecstasy depends on the evidence.

Drug sales cases generally hinge on the presence of a variety of facts that would tend to support a sales allegation including, but not limited to, the quantity or amount of ecstasy pills, any special packaging materials, large amounts of cash, multiple cell phones, and records of sales depicting anyone who may owe money (commonly referred to as "pay/owe sheets"). It should also be noted that just because your son is charged with possession for sales of ecstasy, that does not mean he will be convicted for such. This is where your son's young age and clean record come into play. It is entirely possible to negotiate a different charge even if your son may, in fact, be guilty of sales. Needless to say, much more information is needed about your son and the facts of his case to properly evaluate what is possible. The bottom line, you really have to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer in the city in which your son was arrested to fully and properly evaluate your son's case. I hope this answer was helpful. If you would like to speak to me in more detail, I would be happy to do so. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/14/2011
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
Hire a good attorney. A lack of record is a good thing. A foactor in mitigation as is his age. Having a lot of pills is not a good thing. The possibilities will depend on a number of factors many of which are in the police reports.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/15/2011
Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
Hire a good lawyer experienced in drug cases. Let me know what court and perhaps I can recommend someone I would trust.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/14/2011
    Law Office of David Swanson
    Law Office of David Swanson | David Swanson
    The charge would be Health and Safety code section 11378. It has a 3 year max sentence. What would happen to your son would depend on the facts of his case. He should not make any statements to the police or anyone else. That is the primary way that the prosecution uses to establish someone is selling drugs. If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact me.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/15/2011
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
    The best thing you can do is speak to an attorney. It is obviously a more serious situation if the charge is a felony rather than just a misdemeanor. However, ecstacy is not considered a hard drug and a young college kid with a clean record may get off fairly easy with good representation. Feel free to call me if you're in San Diego. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/15/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    He probably faces felony drug charges with potential prison time.

    What can he do? Defend the charges. Go to court, enter a not guilty plea if appropriate, arrange bail or OR, set up and attend the court hearing[s] and trial date, file the motions as applicable, go to trial if it can't be resolved with a plea bargain. Raise all the available defenses with whatever admissible and credible witnesses, evidence and facts are available for legal arguments for plea bargaining or at trial. There is no magic wand to wave and make it all disappear. If he does not know how to do these things, then hire him an attorney that does, and can likely get a decent plea bargain for you. If serious about doing so, and if the case is in Southern California courts feel free to contact me.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/29/2010
    Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan
    Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan | Geoffrey M. Yaryan
    Selling ecstasy is a felony, which is a serious matter. If convicted he could be place on probation, which is likely since he has no prior criminal record. However, he could go to prison. The best way to help him is to retain a competent attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/29/2010
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    The best way you can help him is by hiring a competent lawyer to represent him. At this tender age, the last thing you want is for him have a drug conviction on his record. Possession with intent to sell can easily be a felony if not handled with care!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/28/2010
    V U.S.A. Law Offices
    V U.S.A. Law Offices | Michael Vu
    He needs to be bailed out and seek legal representation. If he does not have enough money, he would be referred to the public defenders in the county where he is being charged with the sale of ecstacy. It depends on the quantity of ecstacy found on him, the more in quantity the more severe the punishment would be.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/28/2010
    Alanna D. Coopersmith, Attorney at Law
    Alanna D. Coopersmith, Attorney at Law | Alanna D. Coopersmith
    He should not talk to anyone about his case. He should assert his Fifth Amendment rights and refuse to answer any questioning by the police without an attorney. Bail him out, and he should hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer or wait for the court to refer him to the public defender.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/28/2010
    Desert Defenders
    Desert Defenders | John Jimenez
    The BEST way for you to help him is to immediately hire a good criminal defense attorney. The sale or possession of ecstasy or any controlled substance is very serious and will be treated as a felony offense.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/28/2010
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    All cases like this are fact driven. He needs a good attorney. Depending on the Skill of the attorney and the facts of the case he could get a dismissal or time in state prison. Contact me for help.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/28/2010
    Wise Law Group
    Wise Law Group | Michael J. Wise, Esq
    The consequences will depend greatly on any prior criminal convictions your son may have suffered, the volume of ecstacy in his possession and whether or not law enforcement officers believe he is a low, middle or high end dealer. His sentencing options will range from some jail or alternative sentencing time with probation all they way up to prison.

    Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/28/2010
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
    Your son will need an attorney. Once someone is being charged with the sale of drugs possible sentences get very serious. This is not the type of case that you or your son can handle on their own. Find an attorney to assist you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/28/2010
    Law Offices of Juan Dotson
    Law Offices of Juan Dotson | Juan Dotson
    Selling ecstasy is prohibited by Health and Safety code section 11378 since ecstasy can be proved to be a controlled substance or a controlled substance analog of methamphetamine. Assuming no criminal record, the maximum punishment is 3 years in state prison. Typically, first time offenders engaged in street level dealing are sentenced to formal probation and 120 to 365 days in county jail. Clearly, if there is credible evidence your son was involved in heavy trafficking (kilograms at a time), the judge may find him ineligible for probation. You can help your son by advising him not to talk to the case about anybody. He is also in need of a negotiating trial attorney to assist in defending the case and expose deficiencies in the state's case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/28/2010
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