Possession of a controlled substance is a drug crime. If you’ve been charged with possession of MDMA, molly, or ecstasy, you need an Iowa ecstasy lawyer.
Iowa Ecstasy Lawyer
At Clark and Sears Law, PLLC, we defend the rights and liberties of good people who are accused of bad things.
An Iowa lawyer for possession of MDMA might be able to help you avoid conviction. If a judge or jury acquits you, then you could save thousands of dollars in fines and surcharges. Similarly, if a judge or prosecutor dismisses the charges, you could go home to your family. Going home is better than going to jail.
Get out of trouble and get back to life. Call Katherine Sears at Clark and Sears Law, PLLC. You can set up a free consultation now at (515) 491 6128. A receptionist is available 24/7 to take your call.
The criminal defense lawyers at Clark and Sears Law, PLLC, are based in Des Moines and Ankeny. They represent defendants throughout Polk County and the rest of Iowa.
Possession of Ecstasy in Iowa
What is Ecstasy?
Throughout this page, I’m going to use the words “ecstasy,” “molly,” and “MDMA” interchangeably.
MDMA is a recreational stimulant drug with psychoactive effects. Molly causes altered sensations, empathy, and general pleasant feelings. It can also cause side effects such as addiction, paranoia, and hyperthermia. Hyperthermia and deyhdration can cause death. MDMA “crash” can leave users feeling tired and depressed. While there are no currently accepted medical uses in the United States (including in Iowa,) there has been some research into using MDMA to treat severe PTSD. (Source for this paragraph.)
For purposes of Iowa Code Chapter 124, ecstasy is 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine.
Elements of Possession
MDMA is a controlled substance in Iowa. Possessing molly is illegal.
In order to prove you guilty, the State of Iowa usually must prove that you:
- Possessed MDMA
- Knew that it was MDMA
There are exceptions — see below, “conspiracy to possess ecstasy.” The government can convict you of possessing a substance even if you never actually get or see that substance. That doesn’t happen very often, though.
One issue that might come up is misidentification of MDMA. In 2020, the State of Iowa started charging defendants who had pills that defendants believed were “ecstasy” with possession of methamphetamine. It is possible that the State is using either defective testing methods or a defective known positive sample. There might be issues with DCI’s cross-contamination protocol. It is also entirely possible that sellers are misleading Iowa drug consumers about the substances they’re purchasing and ingesting — this is a risk inherent to our current criminalization paradigm.
If Iowa accuses you of ecstasy possession, be aware: they might surprise you with a methamphetamine charge.
Defending a misidentification case
Can you be convicted of possession of methamphetamine when you believed that you possessed ecstasy?
Succinctly, the answer is “I don’t know.” I need to research this issue. I don’t believe that it’s settled case law. I feel strongly that a defendant who believed they possessed ecstasy should not be convicted of possession of methamphetamine because the defendant did not knowingly possess methamphetamine — and nor should they be convicted of possession of ecstasy if they did not, in fact, possess ecstasy.
If the Iowa Supreme Court hasn’t already foreclosed the argument, I’d love to brief this issue.
Penalties for Possession of Ecstasy in Iowa
The board of pharmacy recommended to the general assembly — Iowa’s Senators and Representatives — that ecstasy be listed on Schedule I. Controlled substances are considered “Schedule I” when the lawmakers designate them as substances with a “high potential for abuse” and with “no accepted medical use in treatment.”
MDMA is a Schedule I substance under Iowa Code 124.204(4)(z).
First offense possession of a controlled substance is a serious misdemeanor. It’s only a “first offense” if this is your first controlled substance violation. If you’ve been convicted of possessing other drugs — even marijuana — it’s no longer your “first offense.”
If convicted, you could face up to one year in jail and a fine of $430 – $2560, plus a 15% surcharge.
There’s a “mandatory minimum” sentence of 48 hours on your first offense possession of a controlled substance conviction. The judge can “suspend” this time if she chooses to.
Second offense MDMA possession is an aggravated misdemeanor. Conviction results in up to two years in prison and an $855 – $8540 fine.
Third and subsequent offense ecstasy possession is a Class D felony. Class D felonies result in up to five years in prison, a $1025 – $10,245 fine, loss of voting rights, etc.
Ecstasy Possession Enhancements
Habitual offender enhancement for ecstasy
Iowa Code 902.8 can enhance felony possession charges.
Some people call a habitual offender enhancement the “third strike” rule. Do you already have two or more felony convictions? Convictions from anywhere in the United States count. If so, your next class C felony or class D felony conviction in Iowa makes you a “habitual offender.”
Habitual offender convictions prevent you from getting parole for at least three years.
If you had “immediate possession or control of a firearm” while participating in a “possession w/intent” offense, they will sentence you two two times the term you’d otherwise be sentenced to. That time can’t be deferred or suspended.
Because possession of ecstasy with intent to deliver is a Class C felony, subject to up to 10 years in prison, getting caught doing that with a gun means you will be sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Iowa charges related to possession of MDMA
The government might charge you with additional drug-adjacent offenses. Your possession lawyer can explain these.
Conspiracy to possess ecstasy
If you and one or more other people agree to get drugs — or even to try to get drugs — together, you could be charged with “conspiracy” in violation of Iowa Code 706.1. The government has to show that at least one conspirator “committed an overt act” showing that at least one of you planned to actually get the drugs.
Possession of MDMA with Intent to Deliver
When the government proves that someone had ecstasy and planned to deliver it — either for sale or as a gift — to someone else, it’s a “special” Class C felony (Iowa Code 124.401(1)(c)). Any amount of ecstasy — even one pill — is enough to get you up to ten years in prison and a fine of $1000 – $50,000
Defenses to Ecstasy Possession
The government’s lawyer has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you’re guilty of all statutory elements of possession of a controlled substance (ecstasy).
Some possible possession defenses include:
If it’s reasonable to think that someone else was the person committing the offense, then you shouldn’t be held responsible.
Were you somewhere else? If you were testifying in front of Congress at the time of the alleged offense, the jury should hear about your alibi.
Fourth Amendment Search and Seizure
The Fourth Amendment, with some specific and well-delineated exceptions, guards you from warrantless searches and seizures.
Des Moines Ecstasy Possession Lawyer
Call an Iowa possession of MDMA defense attorney when you’re facing charges in the city of Des Moines Iowa or near Iowa State University.
A Des Moines MDMA lawyer can help ensure that your rights are respected when you’re accused of an offense in the greater Des Moines area.
This blog post is for informational purposes only. Don’t rely on it as legal advice. It may be out of date. It may not apply to your situation. Reading this site doesn’t make me your lawyer.
Consult with a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction. If you want to talk to us about your Iowa drug possessiot case, please contact us at (515) 491 6128. We’ll set up a time to talk.
What will happen if I’m charged?
When someone alleges that you committed intimidation, law enforcement will investigate. Then, if a judge finds probable cause, you could go to jail. Once in jail, you might be let out on bond. Pretrial release might let you out. You might not be let out at all.
Instead of sending you to jail, the judge might give you papers. Those papers will tell you when your court date is. After your arrest. police will read you your rights. Then, they will give you time to call an intimidation attorney or a law firm.
At an initial appearance, you will see a judge. The judge might schedule a preliminary hearing. At a preliminary hearing, you or your lawyer will ask questions. One or more witnesses will be under oath. After the questions, the judge will decide whether probable cause exists.
Your attorney might suggest waiving the preliminary hearing. Before deciding, consult your lawyer. Alternatively, the prosecutor might file the “trial information” before the preliminary hearing. If so, there won’t be a preliminary hearing.
Your attorney tell you about your next court date. After your preliminary hearing happens (or after you receive the trial information,) you will have an arraignment.
Police will give reports to the county attorney’s office. Then, the county attorney’s office will review the information. After the prosecutor reads the reports, they will decide what offenses to charge you with. For instance, a prosecutor might charge you with a misdemeanor. Alternatively, they could accuse you of a felony.
Your intimidation with a dangerous weapon lawyer will tell you what the government accused you of. Moreover, they will explain your rights. You also need to know how this could affect your criminal record. In short, they will tell you about the worst case scenario. A criminal lawyer will tell you more about the fines, terms of incarceration, and collateral consequences that might apply.
Your law firm will give you legal advice. Specifically, they will explain the pros and cons of taking your case to trial. After all, only you can decide whether or not to accept a plea offer.
Finally, if a jury convicts you, you can probably appeal. The court of appeals hears appellate arguments. So does the Iowa Supreme Court. Because they review legal issues, they might find a constitutional problem. That means that the law can be illegal. Alternatively, the district court might have treated a legal law illegally. However, the right to appeal does not apply to simple misdemeanors. Ask your criminal defense attorney for more information.
What should I know about lawyers generally?
Attorneys completed their bachelor’s or 4-year degrees. Thereafter, they went to law school. One example is Drake University Law School. That school is in Des Moines. Afterward, Iowa lawyers take the bar exam. Thereafter, a committee evaluates their character and fitness. The Iowa State Bar admits Iowa lawyers. The Iowa bar association regulates the legal profession.
Some lawyers and law firms do general practice. In light of that, they accept all kind of representation. In contrast, some lawyers specialize in particular areas of law. For example, a lawyer might do only civil practice. When a lawyer does civil work, they might handle divorces. Additionally, the Iowa lawyer might represent small claims cases. Further, a civil practice lawyer could do personal injury work. In another case, the lawyer might focus on family law or child custody.
Alternatively, some lawyers practice only criminal defense. Some lawyers get even more particular. For instance, a lawyer might take only domestic violence defense. Another lawyer might focus on sex crime, sexual abuse, operating while intoxicated, child endangerment, child abuse, indecent exposure, theft, possession of controlled substances, sex crimes, marijuana, DUI defense, controlled substance offenses, arson, criminal mischief, vehicular homicide, drug offenses, traffic violations, violent crime or drunk driving.
Many Iowa lawyers practice only in Iowa courts. The Iowa Code defines all Iowa crimes. The Iowa rules of criminal procedure control what happens in Iowa criminal justice cases.
Federal court is different. If you are facing federal charges for a federal criminal offense, make sure to let your Iowa lawyer know. Because Iowa federal courts are not state law courts in Iowa, your lawyer might refer you elsewhere. Federal prosecutors and federal judges use different procedural rules. Federal crimes are subject to federal sentencing.
What offenses exist in Iowa criminal law?
Criminal law offenses are misdemeanors or felonies. Class A felonies exist, but most people facing felony charges are facing a class B felony, a class C felony, or a class D felony. If you have questions about Iowa drug offenses, ask a lawyer.
What can an Iowa intimidation with a dangerous weapon lawyer do for me?
When accused, contact an attorney or law firm. Make sure to call one that works with Iowa criminal law.
If there’s a warrant out for your arrest, your Iowa unlawful assembly attorney can help. In that case, you will coordinate with law enforcement. Self-surrender won’t be as embarrassing as public arrest would be.
Your Iowa criminal lawyer will stay in touch with the county attorney’s office. That means they will let the prosecutor know whether you choose to exercise or waive your right to speedy trial. Further, counsel can provide some guidance. For example, you need to know whether it’s a good idea to consider a plea agreement or to go to trial. They will talk to you about whether a judge or jury is likely to find a particular witness credible.
Your criminal lawyer will let you know what sort of jail time you might be facing if convicted. Moreover, they can explain how conviction impacts criminal history. Finally, they can discuss whether or not the prosecutor might dismiss your charges.
Finally, there is a Victim Services Support Program available through the Iowa attorney general’s office.