Dozens Arrested at Sunset Music Festival in Tampa

Tampa Bay maintains many traditions that make the bay a unique and exciting place to live. For a certain demographic, Tampa and surrounding areas of Florida are a holy ground; for those individuals that live the lifestyle of “EDM” or “Electronic Dance Music.” Florida houses major (and other minor) EDM “festivals” or concerts annually and they include Miami’s Ultra Music Festival, Orlando’s Electric Daisy Carnival and Tampa’s own Sunset Music Festival.

What has become a huge tradition in Tampa has opened the gate for a flood of legal issues facing young patrons of the Sunset Music Festival. The festival, which took place this month in Tampa, attracts thousands of young fans from around the state and even southern region of the United States. Along with the target demographic, “SMF” as it is known also attracts a parade of law enforcement within and without the walls of the festival. If you have attended or even driven around the festival, you are aware that law enforcement essentially triple their efforts with regard to DUI patrols, check points sobriety testing around the venue and triple their efforts inside the venue with regard to contraband and weapons searches, as well as being on the lookout for the item that is associated with such festivals perhaps more than any other: Molly.

Molly is MDMA (4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine), a synthetic, psychoactive drug that has similarities to both the stimulant amphetamine and the hallucinogen mescaline. It produces feelings of increased energy, euphoria, emotional warmth and empathy toward others, and distortions in sensory and time perception. The use of molly in music festivals is well known, but less known are the legal ramifications one could face if found with the drug.

Under Florida Statute § 893.13(6) (a), if you are convicted of possession of MDA, even if it is under 10 grams, you could be sentenced to:

  • A maximum penalty of up to five (5) years in prison and penalty of up to a $5,000 fine
  • 2 Year Driver’s License suspension (if adjudicated guilty)
  • The possible forfeiture of any vehicle and/or property used in the commission of a felony.

In addition to the penalties above, anyone who is adjudicated guilty of a possession of a narcotic charge like ecstasy possession, must be sentenced to a two (2) year mandatory driver’s license suspension. Many attorneys are unaware of Florida Statute 322.055 which mandates the driver’s license suspension regardless of what the Judge wants to do!

What Can We Do For You?

Our skilled team of attorneys can help you or anyone you know that may be charged with one of the offenses related to Molly (MDMA) or other drug offenses avoid the worst possible case scenario. Through various avenues including pre-trial intervention, negotiating a plea deal for withhold of adjudication and other options, our attorneys can help you if you have found yourself dealing with such charges from Tampa’s Sunset Music Festival. Having attorneys on your side that are former State Prosecutors means they know the law on both sides, and maintain the knowledge to achieve the results that you desire. Call Taracks & Associates at (813) 289-4357 and request to speak with one of our highly experienced attorneys for a FREE consultation about any related charges!

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