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Offences Involving Ecstasy

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Contact Armstrong Legal:
Sydney: (02) 9261 4555

10 Practical tips for representing yourself in a drugs charge

This section includes maximum penalties and sentencing statistics for offences involving ecstasy. It will also cover the likely penalties for the more common first drug offences.

Other popular street terms for MDMA, or "ecstasy" are E, eckys, Ills, Molly, Pills, Rolls, Wigs, X, XTC, pingers, vitamin e, vitamin x .

Self-administration of Ecstasy / MDMA

Ecstasy / MDMA is a prohibited drug.

According to section 12 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act, it is an offence to administer or attempt to administer a prohibited drug to yourself.

The maximum penalty for this charge is a fine of 20 penalty units and/or 2 years imprisonment.

Which court will hear your matter?
This matter is a summary matter and will be dealt with in the Local Court.

What is the law part and the short description?
On the police facts sheet and the court attendance notice (CAN) that you may have received you will have a reference to the law part and a short description of offence. These references help the court and the legal profession to identify the exact offence you have been charged with. The law part and short description for this offence are set out in the table below:

Law Part Short Description
3151 Self administer/attempt self administer prohibited drug

What are the elements the prosecution must prove?
To convict you of a use of prohibited drugs charge, the police must prove each of the following matters beyond reasonable doubt:

  • The substance is ecstasy / MDMA; and
  • You administered ecstasy / MDMA to yourself; or
  • You attempted to administer ecstasy / MDMA to yourself

Self-administering includes any means of introducing ecstasy / MDMA into your body.

Administration of Ecstasy / MDMA to others

According to section 13 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act, it is an offence to administer or attempt to administer ecstasy / MDMA to another person.

The maximum penalty for this charge is a fine of 20 penalty units and/or 2 years imprisonment.

Which court will hear your matter?
This matter is a summary matter and will be dealt with in the Local Court.

What is the law part and the short description?
On the police facts sheet and the court attendance notice (CAN) that you may have received you will have a reference to the law part and a short description of the offence. These references help the court and the legal profession to identify the exact offence you have been charged with. The law part and short description for this offence are set out in the table below:

Law Part Short Description
3152 Administer/attempt administer prohibited drug to another

What are the elements the prosecution must prove?
To convict you of this charge, the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • The substance is ecstasy / MDMA; and
  • You administered the ecstasy / MDMA to another person; or
  • You attempted to administer the ecstasy / MDMA to another person

Administering / attempt to administer includes any means of introducing ecstasy / MDMA into a person's body.

Possession of Ecstasy / MDMA

Ecstasy / MDMA is a prohibited drug.

According to section 10 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act, it is an offence to possess a prohibited drug.

The maximum penalty for this charge is a fine of 20 penalty units and/or 2 years imprisonment.

Which court will hear your matter?
This matter is a summary matter and will be dealt with in the Local Court.

What is the law part and the short description?
On the police facts sheet and the court attendance notice that you may have received you will have a reference to the law part and a short description of the offence. These references help the court and the legal profession to identify the exact offence you have been charged with. The law part and short description for this offence are set out in the table below:

Law Part Short Description
3145 Possess Prohibited Drug

What are the elements the prosecution must prove?
To convict you of this charge, the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • You had ecstasy / MDMA in your possession, and
  • You knew it was in your possession, or knew of its likely existence and nature, or you believed that it was a ecstasy / MDMA

What is "deemed supply"?
If you are in possession of a traffickable quantity of ecstasy / MDMA, it is presumed that you possess the ecstasy / MDMA for the purposes of supply, unless you can prove that it was only for personal use.

Supply of Ecstasy / MDMA

Ecstasy / MDMA is a prohibited drug. The maximum penalty for the charge of supply of prohibited drug (Section 25 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act) is a fine of 2000 penalty units and/or 15 years imprisonment.

According to section 25 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act, it is an offence to supply a prohibited drug.

Which court will hear your matter?
Where the amount of ecstasy / MDMA exceeds the indictable quantity (1.25g), this matter is strictly indictable which means that it can only be finalised in the District Court.

Where the amount of ecstasy / MDMA does not exceed the indictable quantity but is more than the small quantity (0.25g), this matter 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.

Where the amount of ecstasy / MDMA does not exceed the 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 dealt with in the Local Court.

What are the relevant drug quantities?
The amount of ecstasy / MDMA you supplied will also affect the penalty you receive. The quantities for ecstasy / MDMA have been classified as follows:

Traffickable quantity Small quantity Indictable quantity Commercial quantity Large Commercial quantity
0.75g 0.25g 1.25g 0.125kg 0.5kg

What is the law part and the short description?
On the police facts sheet and the court attendance notice that you may have received you will have a reference to the law part and a short description of the offence. These references help the court and the legal profession to identify the exact offence you have been charged with. The law part and short description for this offence are set out in the table below:

Law Part Short Description
3181 Supply a prohibited drug
16958 Supply prohibited drug <=small quantity-T2
16960 Supply prohibited drug >indictable quantity (not cannabis)-SI
16959 Supply prohibited drug >small & <=indictable quantity-T1
68391 Take part in supply of a prohibited drug
68395 Take part supply prohibited drug <indictable quantity (not cannabis)-SI
68394 Take part supply prohibited drug <=small quantity-T2
68396 Take part supply prohibited drug < small <=indictable quantity-T1

What are the elements the prosecution must prove?
To convict you of this charge, the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • You supplied a ecstasy / MDMA, or
  • You knowingly took part in the supply of ecstasy / MDMA.

Supply Ecstasy / MDMA on an Ongoing Basis

ecstasy / MDMA is a prohibited drug.

According to section 25A of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act, it is an offence to supply a prohibited drug on an ongoing basis.

The maximum penalty for this charge is a fine of 3,500 penalty units and/or 20 years imprisonment.

Which court will hear your matter?
This matter is strictly indictable which means that it cannot be finalised in the Local Court. Strictly indictable matters usually go to the District Court, except for offences that are extremely serious such as murder, which go to the Supreme Court.

What is the law part and the short description?
On the police facts sheet and the court attendance notice that you may have received you will have a reference to the law part and a short description of the offence. These references help the court and the legal profession to identify the exact offence you have been charged with. The law part and short description for this offence are set out in the table below:

Law Part Short Description
28937 Supply prohibited drugs on an ongoing basis-SI

What are the elements the prosecution must prove?
To convict you of a supply ecstasy / MDMA on an ongoing basis charge, the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • You supplied ecstasy / MDMA to another person or persons.
  • Ecstasy / MDMA was supplied on three or more separate occasions during any period of 30 consecutive days.
  • The supply of Ecstasy / MDMA was for financial or material reward.

Manufacture and Production of Ecstasy / MDMA

Ecstasy / MDMA is a prohibited drug.

According to section 24 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act, it is an offence to manufacture or produce a prohibited drug.

The maximum penalty for this offence is a fine of 2000 penalty units and/or 10 years imprisonment.

Which court will hear your matter?
Where the amount of ecstasy / MDMA exceeds the indictable quantity, this matter is strictly indictable which means that it cannot be finalised in the Local Court. Strictly indictable matters usually go to the District Court, except for offences that are extremely serious such as murder, which go to the Supreme Court.

Where the amount of ecstasy / MDMA does not exceed the indictable quantity, this matter is a Table 1 offence which means that either the DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions) 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.

Where the amount of ecstasy / MDMA does not exceed the small quantity, 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 dealt with in the Local Court.

What are the relevant drug quantities?
The amount of ecstasy / MDMA you supplied will also affect the penalty you receive. The quantities for ecstasy / MDMA have been classified as follows:

Traffickable quantity Small quantity Indictable quantity Commercial quantity Large Commercial quantity
0.75g 0.25g 1.25g 0.125kg 0.5kg

What is the law part and the short description?
On the police facts sheet and the court attendance notice that you may have received you will have a reference to the law part and a short description of the offence. These references help the court and the legal profession to identify the exact offence you have been charged with. The law part and short description for this offence are set out in the table below:

Law Part Short Description
3179 Manufacture prohibited drug
16955 Manufacture prohibited drug <= small guantity-T2
16957 Manufacture prohibited drug > indictable quantity (not cannabis)-SI
16956 Manufacture prohibited drug >small <=indictable quantity-T1
68376 Take part in manufacture or production of prohibited drug
68377 Take part manufacture etc prohibited drug <=small quantity-T2
68378 Take part manufacture etc prohibited drug>indictable quantity-SI
68379 Take part manufacture prohibited drug >small <=indictable quantity-T1
59704 Manufacture etc drug and expose child <=small quantity-T2
59705 Manufacture etc drug and expose child-<=indictable quantity-T1
59706 Manufacture etc drug-expose child >indictable
63598 Take part manufacture drug expose child >indictable
68380 Take part manufacture etc drug expose child <=small quantity-T2
68381 Take part manufacture etc drug expose child-<=indictable quantity-T1
3180 Manufacture prohibited drug >= commercial quantity-SI
63587 Manufacture prohibited drug >= large commercial quantity-SI
68383 Take part manufacture etc prohibited drug >=commercial quantity-SI
68384 Take part manufacture prohibited drug >= large commercial quantity-SI
59708 Manufacture etc large commercial quantity-expose child-SI
59707 Manufacture/produce commercial quantity drug-expose child-SI
68389 Take part manufacture etc commercial quantity drug-expose child-SI
68390 Take part manufacture etc large commercial quantity-expose child-SI

What are the elements the prosecution must prove?
To convict you of a manufacture or production of ecstasy / MDMA charge, the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • The substance is ecstasy / MDMA; and
  • You manufactured or produced the ecstasy / MDMA; or
  • You knowingly took part in the manufacture or production of the ecstasy / MDMA.

You will have taken part in the manufacture or production of ecstasy / MDMA, if you take or participate in any step of the process, or if you cause any step to be taken in the process.

"Knowingly take part" includes :

  • Taking, participating in or causing any step in the process of manufacture, production or supply; or
  • Arranging finance for that step or providing the premises in which that step takes place.

To establish that you knowingly took part, the prosecution must prove:

  • You had actual knowledge, or
  • You had a belief, or
  • You were aware of the likelihood that you were dealing with ecstasy / MDMA

Importing and Exporting Ecstasy / MDMA

Ecstasy / MDMA is a border controlled drug.

According to Division 307 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code Act, it is an offence to import or export border controlled drugs.

The maximum penalty for importing or exporting ecstasy / MDMA depends on the quantity imported.

There are three different quantity ranges under the Criminal Code Act 1995. The table below shows the maximum penalty for each of the different quantities.

Quantity Maximum penalty
Importing or exporting a border controlled drug 10 years imprisonment and/or 2000 penalty units
Importing or exporting marketable quantities of a border controlled drug 25 years imprisonment and/or 5000 penalty units
Importing or exporting commercial quantities of a border controlled drug Life imprisonment and/or $750,000

The following table shows what amount of ecstasy / MDMA is considered a marketable quantity and commercial quantity.

Marketable quantity Commercial quantity
2.0 g 250.0g

THE DANGERS OF COMPLETING A WRITTEN NOTICE OF PLEADING:

The form seems straight forward and can seem to be an attractive alternative to attending court in person. However using them can be a very bad idea.

It is important to be wary of Police that convey to you that they you can simply complete the written notice instead of attending court. While technically true, it is not advisable. Not only does it reflect poorly on you but you can be convicted and sentenced in your absence with little chance to advocate your case. Read More >


Which court will hear your matter?
This matter is strictly indictable which means that it cannot be finalised in the Local Court. Strictly indictable matters usually go to the District Court, except for offences that are extremely serious such as murder, which go to the Supreme Court.

What are the elements the prosecution must prove?
To convict you of an importing or exporting ccstasy / MDMA, the police must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • The substance is ecstasy / MDMA; and
  • You imported or exported ecstasy / MDMA

If the police are seeking to convict you of importing or exporting a marketable or commercial quantity of ecstasy / MDMA, they must also prove beyond reasonable doubt that the quantity imported or exported is a marketable or commercial quantity.


What are the possible defences for these offences?
Possible defences to these charges include but are not limited to:

Types of penalties:

Section 10 for an offence involving ecstasy / MDMA:
Avoiding a criminal record. Normally, when you plead guilty to a criminal offence, the court imposes a penalty and records a conviction. If the court records a conviction, you will have a criminal record. However, if we can convince the court not to convict you, there will be no penalty of any type and no criminal record. In all criminal cases, the court has the discretion not to convict you, but to give you a Section 10 dismissal instead. Read more.

Fines for offences involving ecstasy / MDMA:
When deciding the amount of a fine for a prohibited drugs charge the magistrate or judge should consider your financial situation and your ability to pay any fine they set. Read more.

Good behaviour bond for offences involving ecstasy / MDMA:
This is an order of the court that requires you to be of good behaviour for a specified period of time. The court will impose conditions that you will have to obey during the term of the good behaviour bond. The maximum duration of a good behaviour bond is five years. Read more.

Community service order for offences involving ecstasy / MDMA (CSO):
This involves either unpaid work in the community at a place specified by probation and parole or attendance at a centre to undertake a course, such as anger management. In order to be eligible for a CSO you have to be assessed by an officer of the probation service as suitable to undertake the order. Read more.

Suspended sentence for offences involving ecstasy / MDMA:
This is a jail sentence that is suspended upon you entering into a good behaviour bond. Provided the terms of the good behaviour bond are obeyed the jail sentence will not come into effect. A suspended sentence is only available for sentences of imprisonment of up to two years. Read more.

Periodic detention for offences involving ecstasy / MDMA (commonly known as weekend detention):
This form of imprisonment ceased to be a sentencing option in October 2010.

Intensive correction order for offences involving ecstasy / MDMA (ICO):
This option has replaced periodic detention. The court can order you to comply with a number of conditions, such as attending counselling or treatment, not consuming alcohol, complying with a curfew and performing community service. Read more.

Jail for a use of prohibited drugs charge:
This is the most serious penalty for offences involving ecstasy / MDMA and involves full time detention in a correctional facility. Read more.


where to next?

If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.

Why Choose Armstrong Legal?

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