Speak Up! - View Question #552
printer friendly version
Question: What are the legal consequence for using steroids?
Answer: You are most likely talking about anabolic steroids -the kind that athletes and others use to build muscle and size and be better in their sport. In Arizona it is illegal to possess and use certain drugs, and anabolic steroids are classified as 'dangerous drugs' (ARS 13-3401(6)(d)). Possession or use of a dangerous drug is a class 4 felony (ARS 13-3407). Other kinds of steroids, like cortisone and prendisone - known as corticosteroids, are prescription only drugs. Possession or use of a prescription only drug without a valid prescription is a class 1 misdemeanor.
In Arizona conviction of a class 4 felony can result in prison time of up to 3.75 years for a first offense, probation, and a dangerous drug conviction has a mandatory fine of $1000, plus mandatory surcharges of 80%. A class 1 misdemeanor can result in up to 6 months in jail and up to a $2500 fine (plus the 80% surcharge). However, for first and second drug convictions, if you do not have any other violent crime convictions, you cannot be sent to prison, but probation and treatment is mandatory, along with the fine.
If you get charged with possession or use of dangerous drugs as a juvenile, and are convicted, then the adult sanctions above don't apply, but the juvenile court can send you to juvenile prison, place you on probation, make you pay a fine, do community service work and attend treatment. Also, the law requires that your driver's license be suspended until you are 18, for ANY drug conviction. This even applies if you don't have a license yet - the suspension is of your privilege to drive.
In addition to the criminal sanctions, many sports associations and schools have rules about drug use, including steroid use, and they can and do test for drug use. If you are found to have the drugs in your system, your prizes can be taken away (if you won), you can be suspended from the sport and/or school, and you can be banned from competing in your sport for a time or for life, depending on the situation.
Also, drug convictions can keep you out of the military, and out of some professions or jobs - even juvenile 'convictions'.
So steroid use has some drastic legal consequences, which could effect the rest of your life.