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Ecstacy Offences

Ecstasy also known as MDMA and known on the street as E, eckys, Molly, pingers and Vitamin E, is a derivative of methamphetamine. It is a prohibited drug under Schedule 1 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW).  This article discusses ecstacy.  We look at the legal implications of the ecstacy offences of possession, administration, supply, manufacture and the import/export of ecstacy.

The Ecstasy Offence of Possession

For a conviction to occur the prosecution must prove that the drug was in the possession of the accused and that they knew it was in their possession or knew of it’s likely existence and nature, as detailed in s10 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW).  The charge is usually dealt with in the Local Court and is a summary matter. The maximum penalty for this ecstacy offence is a fine of 20 penalty units, currently $2,200.00 and/or two years imprisonment.  Pursuant to section 29 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW), if a person is in possession of a traffickable quantity of MDMA, 0.75g, it is presumed that they possess the MDMA for the purposes of supply, unless they can prove that it was only for personal use.

Self Administration

It is an offence to self administer ecstasy, which means the introduction of the drug into the body through any means.  This charge is typically dealt with in the Local Court and is a summary matter.  For a conviction to occur, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the substance is ecstacy and that the person administered or attempted to administer MDMA to themselves.  The maximum penalty for this ecstasy offence is a fine of 20 penalty units, where 1 penalty unit currently equals $110 and/or two years imprisonment. Penalty units are used instead of dollar amounts as the units are indexed for inflation. The dollar amount of one penalty unit is described in s17 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 (NSW)

The Ecstacy Offence of Administration to Others

It is an offence to administer or attempt to administer MDMA to another person pursuant to s13 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW).  This charge is typically dealt with in Local Court and is a summary matter.  For a conviction to occur, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the substance is MDMA, that the person administered or attempted to administer it to another.  The maximum penalty for this ecstacy offence is a fine of 20 penalty units, which is currently $2,200.00 and/or two years imprisonment.

Supply

The supply of ecstacy is dealt with under s25 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW).  For a conviction to occur the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person supplied MDMA or knowingly took part in the supply of MDMA.  The maximum penalty for a small or traffickable quantity is a fine of 2,000 penalty points, currently $220, 000 and/or 15 years imprisonment.

The effect of the Quantity of Ecstacy on Penalties

  1. Small Quantity, 0.25g  This matter is a Table 2 offence which means that the DPP can elect to have the matter dealt with in the District Court. If no election is made it will be heard in the Local Court. The maximum penalty is 20 penalty units, currently $2,200 and/or 2 years imprisonment.
  2. Traffickable Quantity, 0.75g. This is a Table 1 offence which means that either the DPP or an accused can elect to have the matter dealt with in the District Court. If no election is made it will be dealt with in the Local Court.
  3. Indictable Quantity, 1.25g. This is heard in the District Court and the maximum penalty is $220,000 and/or 15 years imprisonment.
  4. Commercial Quantity, 0.125kg. This is heard in the District Court and the maximum penalty is $385,000 and/or 20 years imprisonment
  5. Large Commercial Quantity, 0.5kg. The maximum penalty is $550,000 and/or life imprisonment.

Generally, an Ecstacy pill weighs between 0.3g and 0.6g.

Ongoing Supply of Ecstasy

This offence is dealt with in s25A of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW). It is a strictly indictable matter and is generally heard in the District Court. It carries a maximum penalty of 3,500 penalty units and/or 20 years imprisonment.  For a conviction to occur, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a prohibited drug was supplied on three or more occasions during any period of 30 consecutive days and the supply was for financial or material reward. The prohibited drug is not required to be the same drug on any of the occasions relied upon.

Manufacture and Production of Ecstasy

This offence is dealt with in s24 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW). The maximum penalty for this offence is a fine of 2,000 penalty units and/or 10 years imprisonment.  For a conviction to occur, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the substance is Ecstacy and that the person manufactured or produced it or that they knowingly took part in the manufacture or production.  The participation in any step of the process includes arranging finance for the production  or providing the premises in which the production takes place. To establish that a person knowingly took part, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they had actual knowledge or had a belief or were aware of the likelihood that MDMA was produced.

Import and Export of Ecstasy

This offence is dealt with under Division 307 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth). There are three different quantity ranges.

  1. Importing or exporting which has a maximum penalty of 2,000 penalty units and/or 10 years imprisonment, (s307.3).
  2. Importing or exporting a marketable quantity, which is considered to be 2.0g and has a maximum penalty of 5,000 penalty units and/or 25 years imprisonment, (s307.2).
  3. Importing or exporting a commercial quantity, which is considered to be 250.0g and has a maximum penalty of 7,500 penalty units and/or life imprisonment, (s307.1).

Why choose BSM Lawyers?

The highly experienced criminal lawyers at Brander Smith McKnight Lawyers regularly appear for clients who are facing drug charges in the Local and District court.  Our lawyers are expert and dedicated advocates who will vigorously fight for your rights.  We have successfully defended many ecstasy offence criminal matters with excellent results.

Call us to arrange a free 20 minute no obligation consultation that includes case evaluation and cost estimate.

BSM Lawyers are conveniently located at Sutherland, Parramatta, Wollongong and Sydney CBD.

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