Skip to Main Content

Can You Go to Jail for Possessing Anabolic Steroids?

Anabolic steroids make bulking up much easier. Amateur and professional bodybuilders often use them to pack on muscle, as do college or professional athletes, who enjoy the performance advantage steroids provide. Canadian sprinter Ben Jonson famously won the 1988 gold medal in the 100 meter dash before being stripped of his title for steroid use.

Unfortunately, anabolic steroids are a controlled substance in Texas. Anyone caught possessing or distributing anabolic steroids can end up in prison for decades. In fact, some people are serving over 30 years for getting caught with anabolic steroids, which is on par with the sentences some people receive for unlawfully killing another person.

Possession of Steroids in Texas

To be convicted, you must “knowingly” possess anabolic steroids. As with other drugs, you are not knowingly in possession if you have no idea drugs are in your pocket or in a backpack or vehicle. For example, you might have borrowed a friend’s jacket, which contains steroids. This is not a crime if you did not know they were on you.

However, if convicted, the punishment will depend on the amount you possess. Someone caught with less than 28 grams is looking at a maximum year in jail and a $4,000 fine. However, someone caught with 400 grams can face life in prison for first-degree felony charges. Anabolic steroids aren’t like marijuana: there is no safe amount of anabolic steroids you can be caught with. Any amount could land you in jail.

Federal Charges for Anabolic Steroids

Anabolic steroids are also a Schedule III substance under federal law. This means federal charges are possible:

  • First offense: Up to one year in prison and a $1,000 fine.
  • Second offense: Minimum of 15 days in prison, up to 2 years; minimum $2,500 fine.
  • Third offense: Minimum 90 days in jail, up to 3 years; minimum $5,000 fine.

Don’t Defend Yourself Alone

In addition to criminal penalties, athletes or trainers could suffer a serious hit to their reputations. It can be hard to hold another job as a trainer after a steroid conviction. Consequently, you should do everything possible to keep a conviction off your record.

Sometimes people take anabolic steroids for a valid reason according to a prescription, though this isn’t common. Steroids can treat delayed puberty or muscle wasting tied to AIDS. You might also get a prescription for testosterone if you do not produce enough naturally.

If you are arrested with steroids, we recommend not lying that you have a prescription if you don’t. It raises red flags with law enforcement who might continue to search you to find other controlled substances.

The best thing to do after being arrested is to ask for an attorney but otherwise remain silent. We can make the state work for its conviction.

Our Houston Drug Crimes Attorney Can Help!

We represent men and women every day accused of drug possession. We have had good success with these cases, which in many situations represent “victimless crimes.” Contact Tad Nelson today to schedule a consultation.