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Sentencing for the importation of steroids

What is the sentence for the importation of steroids in 2020?

The importation of steroids into the UK is a serious offence. The reason being is that anabolic steroids are officially classified as a Class C drug. It is illegal to sell or deal anabolic steroids, but they can be prescribed by a doctor for medical reasons.

conspiracy to supply steroids

There is a ban from ordering anabolic steroids online and having them delivered to your address in the UK. Despite this being the case, there is still a great use of the drugs in the UK, particularly by bodybuilders and those looking to attain the perfect physique.

Anabolic steroids can cause infertility, splayed teeth and in some cases, their use can even result in death.

To help you to understand what the outcome might be as a result of being convicted of the importation of steroids offence, we’ve detailed the sentencing guidelines.  Please note that a competent and experienced solicitor may be able to get a prison sentence reduced or even avoid it entirely.

More about the importation of steroids offence

Here are some examples of the different laws that relate to the importation of steroids that may have led to the situation at hand.

  • Import or export of a controlled drug
  • Production, cultivation or manufacture of controlled drugs.
  • Allowing the consumption of certain controlled drugs or supply or production of any controlled drug in premises that you manage or control.
  • Possession of a controlled drug.
  • Possession with intent to supply another person.
  • Supplying another person with a controlled drug.
    Offering to supply another person with a controlled drug.

Anabolic Steroids are controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act as class C drugs, but their legal status is complicated. In most situations, the possession offence is typically waived, and therefore, those who use steroids or possess them without a prescription are unlikely to be prosecuted. However, that doesn’t mean that it won’t happen as in some areas of the UK it has a history of happening.

Read more information about the offence of Importion of steroids

What is the average sentence for the importation of steroids?

Depending on what you are charged with, the typical sentence for possessing class C drugs is two years imprisonment and an unlimited fine. If you have imported enough for distribution and supply purposes, you could receive a sentence of 14 years and a fine.

How does a court decide on the seriousness of the importation of steroids offence for sentencing purposes?

The information that judges are given with regards to sentencing are only guidelines, and each case will be looked at individually. One of the factors judges consider in every case of this nature is the defendant’s level of genuine remorse.

What are some of the mitigating factors that might reduce an importation of steroids sentence?

Certain aspects of a case are known as the mitigating aspects which can influence the sentence that a judge gives. In this type of case, they can include:

  • Whether the defendant is disabled or mentally ill
  • How old they are, i.e. if they are particularly young their age may affect their level of responsibility
  • What role the convicted played in the offence – i.e. if it was particularly minor
  • There is evidence that the person stopped offending before being caught
  • Whether the offender has admitted the crime and cooperated with the authorities
  • In the situation of there being extreme financial pressure on the defendant that was not deserved before the offence took place

Is it possible to reduce a sentence for importation of steroids with a guilty plea?

In recent years, a number of changes have been made to the sentencing system in the UK to save the court time and cost and to protect witnesses from the stress of needlessly going through a trial. For offenders aged 18 and over, pleading guilty early on in a case can reduce a sentence by as much as one third (maximum). The later the plea is entered, the smaller the reduction.

  • ‘Early on’ refers to ‘the first stage of the proceedings’ and means anytime up to and including the first hearing at the Magistrates Court or Crown Court for indictable offences.
  • If a plea is entered 14 days after the first hearing, for example, the maximum level of reduction is just 20% or one fifth of the sentence. For indictable offences, the limit for a guilty plea to be made is within 28 days after the prosecutor has stated compliance with section 3 of CPIA 1996 and serving disclosure; although the decision is ultimately in the hands of the Judge who has discretion to apply whatever credit is deemed appropriate.
  • After these times there is a sliding scale of credit applied. This goes down to one tenth on the first day of the trial and to zero if entered during the course of the trial. In theory, the ten percent could be given if the plea is issued after the opening speeches on the first day, but prior to any witness evidence being heard.
  • If the accused does not want to plead guilty, then it’s important for the solicitor to regularly inform the court throughout the trial of the reasons why the client’s plea is not guilty.

What are some of the other consequences of an importation of steroids offence?

Ancillary Orders

A court can also make ancillary orders on a defendant if they are found guilty and convicted of an importation of steroids offence. These are extra elements that can be added to a sentence and include additional restrictions or requirements that affect a dependent’s finances, property or activity. For instance, if a company director has abused their position which resulted in a fraud crime, they can be banned from trading a particular business for up to 5 years or be required to make full financial reports for all their financial transactions for up to 15 years.

Ancillary orders include the following:

Compensation Order

The court may enforce that a compensation order is applied in favour of a victim if they have suffered a personal injury or a financial loss. Compensation may include a community order, a fine or a prison sentence and be a stand-alone sentence or combined with another punishment.

Confiscation Order

When the defendant is viewed by the court as having benefited financially from the offence, the court may decide to enforce a confiscation order to reclaim any finances gained from the crime.

Financial reporting order

If the court believes that the defendant is likely to be involved in future offences, they may decide to enforce the defendant to report their financial affairs on a regular basis. A financial reporting order can last for up to 15 years.

Serious crime prevention order

This is the most stringent order to be given by a court and can influence several different aspects of the life of the convicted person. It may include

  • Whether they can work with certain individuals
  • Applying particular business methods
  • Working in particular businesses
  • Using types of items
  • Access to premises
  • Travel – both international and national

The convicted person may also be enforced to disclose personal and business information on demand for a period.

In addition, the court may demand payment of the following if the accused is convicted:

Payment of costs applied for by the prosecutors

Although the police meet some of the costs involved in the prosecution, the costs of investigation are typically sought from the convicted. These may include the costs of:

  • The work undertaken in obtaining sufficient evidence for prosecution either at the initial stage or later at the request of Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)
  • Seeking medical or expert evidence as part of the investigation, (where a witness is required to attend Court, the cost of the attendance falls on the CPS).
  • Re-interviewing witnesses
  • The entire costs of the prosecutor, including fees for the use of external Barristers used by the CPS, can be recovered from the defendant, subject to means. At the end of the case, the prosecutor under The Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 will request the Judge to order a sum to be paid for the costs incurred by the prosecutor in bringing the prosecution.

Victims surcharges

The term victims’ surcharges can be explained as paying compensation to a fund for victims and can range between £20 to £170 depending on what sentence you were given at conviction.

How sentences can be added to national information databases

There are several national databases that hold information about individuals and any allegations made about them, their criminal and court records. These include the DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) which was previously known as the CRB (Criminal Record Bureau) and the Police National Computer (PNC).  Depending on what happened, whether the accused is convicted and what sentence was issued, the accused may be added to one or all these databases. Their purpose is to provide information to potential employers and to regulate the ability to take part in certain activities.

If your case progresses to court and you are convicted of importation of steroids offences, your conviction will be noted on your CRB / police record. The period of the endorsement will depend on the nature and length of your sentence.

Below are details on how long you will be listed as holding a criminal record if convicted. This is something very serious to consider when it comes to future employment. The term ‘spent’ refers to when your name can be removed from the databases.

Rehabilitation Period
(the time it takes for the sentence to become ‘spent’)
Sentence Adult (aged 18+) at time of conviction Young person (aged under 18) at time of conviction
Prison sentences of more than 4 years Sentence is never spent Sentence is never spent
Prison sentences of more than 2.5 years (30 months) but less than 4 years Sentence length 7 years Sentence length 3.5 years
Prison sentences of more than 6 months but less than 2.5 years (30 months) Sentence length +4 years Sentence length +2 years
Prison sentences of less than 6 months Sentence length + 2 years Sentence length +18 months
Conditional Discharge Length of order Length of order
Absolute Discharge None None
Conditional Caution 3 months 3 months
Simple Caution / Youth Caution None – immediately ‘spent’ None – immediately ‘spent’
Other Including Compensation Order, Supervision Order, Bind Over, Hospital Order Length of the order / once compensation is paid Length of the order / once compensation is paid

How Can Stuart Miller Solicitors Help?

Our Criminal Solicitors have a creative approach to defending clients. We rightly deserve the reputation of ‘leaving no stone unturned’ in our quest to succeed. Importation of Steroids Allegations can be very complicated to defend, and they require expert knowledge, skill and strategic ability. Our Criminal Lawyers are pioneers of factual and legal defence arguments and will you stand beside you throughout the case.

Whether the Importation of Steroids Allegations involve the receipt of Steroids ordered over the internet or a Conspiracy to Import Steroids on a mass scale; our Criminal Solicitors are knowledgeable enough to give you the best advice from the very outset of the case.

What will happen when I instruct an importation of steroids lawyer?

We study the classification of each type of steroid, amphetamine or other products such as Growth Hormones and Insulin. We establish which product falls within the confines of the Misuse of Drugs Act and which other laws are being relied upon to prosecute. Ensuring the prosecution have proved, in law, that the products are unlawful for the purposes of importation and supply, we will instruct our own exert Drug Analysts to establish the authenticity of the product.

Sometimes for example, with expensive products such as Growth Hormones, the actual product being supplied is neither genuine nor consisting of the correct molecular structure to be classified as Growth Hormone. Similarly, we will ensure that the Steroids are tested and correctly prosecuted. Otherwise, we will move to dismiss the Charges.

Depending on the quantity of Steroids and other products and the number of people involved in the prosecution, we will devise the best defence strategy for you from the beginning and do our very best to protect your best interests and those of your family.

Would you like to discuss your case before instructing us?

If you’d like to have a no-obligation chat with us before you instruct us to take your case, then call us today.

In addition to giving you a free consultation, we can also represent you at the police station if you’ve been arrested. We can look at securing your legal aid.

Please Contact Us and ask to speak to our importation of steroids lawyers and solicitors to arrange a meeting in person, online or by telephone. If you prefer, you can WhatsApp us from the link you will find at the bottom banner if you open this page on your mobile phone device.

Get in touch with us now for importation of steroids legal help.

 

 

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