Good Golly Ms. Molly: Ecstasy & Related Drug Crimes in New York City (PL 220.03)

What is a “molly” or “Molly”? Yes, it is a drug and some form of narcotic or controlled substance, but how does that translate into New York criminal law? Must you sell a molly or is mere possession of a molly enough to be arrested and convicted of a crime? Simply put, while selling a molly (it is actually ecstasy or 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine) is no doubt a felony (note, money need not be exchanged for a felony sale to transpire according to New York criminal law), possession of a small amount for “personal use” is considered a misdemeanor offense. That crime, Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Seventh Degree, is an “A” misdemeanor. New York Penal Law 220.03 carries a possible sentence of up to one year in jail. If your arrest (this includes a Desk Appearance Ticket or DAT) is in New York City – Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens or the Bronx – and you are sentenced to any time in jail, you will spend your time on the beautiful Rikers Island. You need not take my word on this issue. Ask any New York City criminal lawyer or New York drug crime attorney.

As insignificant as possession of ecstasy or a molly may seem to be, in the eyes of prosecutors, judges and those involved in New York’s criminal justice system, there is no difference between the possession of ecstasy and heroin or cocaine. Mere possession, even without any significant weight or amount, violates NY PL 220.03 as described above. Although I am not currently aware of any changes in the policy of District Attorneys Offices in the New York City area, it would not be shocking that even first time offenses are examined more closely and scrutinized since the overdose deaths during the Electric Zoo festival in Manhattan.

Without identifying a specific defense in this blog entry since each and every case is unique, generally there are a few defense “themes” that are available in arrests and Desk Appearance Tickets for PL 220.03, Seventh Degree Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance. In no particular order, the first of these defenses is to challenge the stop and search of the accused. The second is to challenge the evidence and facts. For example, is the substance you possess in fact ecstasy? Tied with the basis of the stop, was substance open to public view, for example, were you observed purchasing it or was it in your vehicle? Another approach may be to explain to prosecutors how, even if true, you are good, well intentioned person who may have had a lapse in judgment, but you should not suffer with a permanent or long term record for your transgression.

Regardless of your defense, remember that ecstasy, mollies, heroin, cocaine and other controlled substances are often treated the same in the New York Penal Law. Possession is a crime.

To learn more about New York City Desk Appearance Tickets, New York misdemeanor drug crimes such as possession of ecstasy, follow the links above or review the materials found in the websites and blogs below.

A New York criminal defense firm established by two former Manhattan prosecutors, the New York criminal lawyers at Saland Law PC represent clients in drug investigations, arrests and trials in the New York City and suburban region.

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