A common concern for anyone who supplements with anabolic steroids is the legality of the matter, as prison time can be an unfortunate reality due to the Steroid Control Act of 1990 and the reinforcement of the original act with the Steroid Control Act of 2004. Unfortunately predicting how much prison time will occur if an individual is charged with a violation is impossible to predict as several factors come into play regarding both state and federal laws. Make no mistake; the mere possession of anabolic androgenic steroids is a felony offense under federal law with the extent of the offense carrying far reaching consequences depending on the nature of the said offense.
Under federal law anabolic androgenic steroids are classified as Schedule III Narcotics with simple possession being punishable by up to one year in prison for a first time offense; however, most states have added anabolic steroids to their control substance list which can increase the penalty to a greater degree, in some cases quite extensively. As should come as no surprise the advent of selling and or manufacturing anabolic steroids will carry a much stiffer penalty; however, it is important to note, simple personal possession can very easily turn into “Intent to Sell” making a personal users a dealer almost overnight. Each state will carry its own sentencing regulations regarding steroid offenses of any nature but several factors will come into play that determine if any jail time is seen including but not limited to the individuals prior criminal record, the role the individual played in the case, the strength of the case and of great importance the strength of the individuals defense council. While the majority of first time offenders of a simple possession nature will see no jail time if the label of possession with the intent to distribute is attached the individuals legal council will ultimately be their saving grace with the lack of solid council resulting in a horrific end. Even so, in some cases some state courts will choose to make an example out of a personal user; while it is unlikely it does still occur and jail time can become a reality.
The total brunt of the penalty will also largely be affected by which court it is tried in; state or federal. In rare circumstances the individual can be tried in both courts but if this occurs there are normally other factors at play other than possession or simple distribution. In the majority of cases even if the case was brought under federal law enforcement the case will be brought to the individuals state court in the end; however, this is not advantageous, as state courts can and will often bring down a much harsher penalty. To give understanding in the state of New York an individual charged with distribution or the intent to distribute can be sentenced to up to ten years in prison for a first time offense; while this is the maximum time and most will not see the maximum sentence it should give you a good idea of the severity. The amounts of steroids in the individuals possession can also play a vital role as large amounts can be deemed “intent to distribute” even if no true intention exists. Under federal law the total amount of steroids in possession of the individual is of crucial importance and as anabolic steroids are generally measured in weight by the courts this proves very disadvantageous for the accused.
While many first time offenders will get off the hook regarding jail time, even those of an intent to distribute nature; even if they do not in most cases for a first time offense only a portion of the sentence given will be served but not all are so lucky as was the with the notorious case of Donnie Keith Wall. Wall is the poster child for severe anabolic steroid consequences being sentenced to 35 years in prison by a Texas court. Wall was pulled over by police where he lied about his name and eventually provided an expired driver’s license under his real name; officers noted drug paraphernalia in his car but Wall denied search; in the end he was held in place until a search warrant could be obtained where by-which both oral and injectable anabolic steroids were found in his possession.
Under Texas state law controlled substance penalties are based on the total weight of the substance at hand with the possession of 200 to 400 grams of anabolic steroids with the intent to sell being a first degree felony punishable by 5 to 99 years in prison. It is important to note when regarding anabolic steroids the total weight and mass is not a pure indicator of the amount of active hormone at hand as anabolic steroids are measured in milligrams based on the dosing of the hormone, not the weight of the compound. Wall’s attorneys argued the oil and water as well as binders that hold the tablets together were merely carrying agents and could not be included in the total weight of the compound however, the state disagreed, saying the agents were added to increase bulk. As you can see this makes very little sense, anabolic steroids must possess these carrying agents in order for them to exist but this common sense was ignored and this should give understanding of how severe such a case can be; when common sense is thrown out the window often an individual stands no chance at all.
In the end jail time will always be determined by prior criminal record and the strength of your defense council. However, it cannot be stressed enough, personal possession can very easily be deemed intent to distribute based on the amounts in your possession and simple things such as giving your training partner a bottle of testosterone. Many find themselves in far worse trouble when they sell a bottle of anabolic steroids to a friend; while they may be simply doing a friend a favor that one bottle turns them into a dealer in the eyes of the court no differently than it does the actual dealer you bought the original bottle from. Increasingly over the years many individuals have seen jail time due to this sort of scenario and law enforcement has begun going after all the small fish, the users in order to pry information out regarding their big fish suppliers. The question remains, as it is the only one most are concerned with; will you see jail time if caught with your own personal supply? The answer remains the same, it is impossible to say with certainty but the above gives you an idea of how severe the consequences can be and contrary to popular belief a harsh end is not uncommon.