This article was written by Michelle Makela - Legal Practice Director

Michelle has over 15 years experience in the legal industry, working across commercial litigation, criminal law, family law and estate planning.  Michelle has been involved in all practice areas of the firm and in her personal practice has had experience in litigation at all levels (state and federal industrial tribunals, the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, Federal...

Offences Involving Steroids


In Victoria, the maximum penalty for possession of steroids is dependent on whether the court is satisfied that you were not in possession of steroids for the purpose of trafficking.

If the court is satisfied that you did not possess the steroids for trafficking purposes, the maximum penalty is a fine up to 30 penalty units or one year’s imprisonment.

If the court is satisfied that you were in possession of the steroids for trafficking purposes, the maximum penalty is a fine up to 400 penalty units or 5 years’ imprisonment.

The Offence of Possession of Steroids

The offence of possession of steroids is contained in section 73 of the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substance Act 1981 which states:

‘A person who without being authorised or licensed under this Act…has or attempts to have in his possession a drug of dependence, is guilty of an indictable offence.’

Steroids are listed as a drug of dependence in Schedule 11 of the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981.

What is Possession?

For the purpose of an offence of being in possession of steroids, section 5 of the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substance Act states that unless you can prove otherwise, you will be deemed to have steroids in your possession where it is:

  • On land or premises occupied or used by you; or
  • Used, enjoyed or controlled by you.

An individual is also deemed to be in possession of steroids if they have physical control or custody of the steroids to the exclusion of others.

What Actions Might Constitute “Possession of Steroids”

  • Having anadrol in your pocket;
  • Having oxandrin in the boot of a vehicle which is being driven by the same person who the vehicle is registered to and no one else uses that vehicle;
  • Storing dianabol in a locker at a gym to which you have the only key.

What Police Need to Prove?

To convict you of possession of steroids, the prosecution must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • That the substance in your possession; and
  • The substance was a steroid.

Possible Defences for Possession Of Steroids

A person charged with possessing steroids may argue in their defence that:

  • They were acting in accordance with a licence or permit granted by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services if you are, for example, a registered health practitioner;
  • They were a person to whom the prohibited drug has been lawfully prescribed or supplied to;
  • They were a person who:
    • Has the care of, or is assisting in the care of, another person for or to whom the prohibited drug has been lawfully prescribed or supplied, and
    • Had the prohibited drug in your possession for the sole purpose of administering, or assisting in the self-administration of, the prohibited drug to the other person in accordance with the prescription or supply;

Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?

An offence of possessing steroids will be heard at the Magistrates’ Court.

Traffick Steroids

In Victoria, pursuant to section 71AC of the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981, the maximum penalty for Trafficking or Attempting to Traffick in steroids is 15 years’ imprisonment. If the trafficking or attempt to traffick steroids occurred at a school or within 500 metres of a school, the maximum penalty is 20 years’ imprisonment.

The Offence of Trafficking Steroids

The offence of Trafficking steroids is contained in section 71AC of the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 which states:

‘A person who, without being authorised or licenced under this Act or the regulations or the Access to Medicinal Cannabis Act 2016 or the regulations under that Act to do so, trafficks or attempts to traffick in a drug of dependence is guilty of an indictable offence’.

What is Trafficking?

Under section 70 of the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981, ‘traffick’ in relation to steroids includes:

  • Preparing steroids for trafficking;
  • Manufacturing steroids; or,
  • Selling, exchange, agreeing to sell, offering for sale or having in possession for sale, steroids.

This definition is not a complete list of all the acts that could amount to trafficking. The Courts have also defined trafficking to mean:

  • An activity performed in a commercial setting where it can be fairly inferred someone (not necessarily you) made a profit; or
  • That you participated in the progress of drugs from its source to the consumer.

What is a Traffickable Quantity?

Under section 70 of the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981, a ‘Traffickable Quantity’ of a drug of dependence is specified in Schedule 11 of the Act. The traffickable quantity for steroids is 500 grams.

What Actions Might Constitute Trafficking Steroids?

  • Carrying steroids on board a domestic flight;
  • Having a traffickable quantity of steroids in your backpack;
  • Selling steroids to your friends.

What Police Need to Prove

To convict you of Trafficking steroids, the prosecution must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • You intentionally ‘trafficked’ or ‘attempted to traffick’ in steroids; and
  • That the substance was steroids; and

Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?

Depending on the quantity of steroids that is alleged to have been trafficked or attempted to traffick, this charge may be heard in either the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria or the County Court of Victoria. An accused can elect to have their matter heard in the County Court of Victoria regardless of the alleged quantity.

Trafficking Steroids – Commercial Quantity

In Victoria, pursuant to section 71AA of the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981, the maximum penalty for Trafficking or Attempting to Traffick in steroids – Commercial Quantity is 25 years’ imprisonment.

The Offence of Trafficking Steroids

The offence of Trafficking Steroids is contained in section 71AC of the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 which states:

‘A person who, without being authorised or licenced under this Act or the regulations or the Access to Medicinal Cannabis Act 2016 or the regulations under that Act to do so, trafficks or attempts to traffick in a drug of dependence is guilty of an indictable offence’.

What is a Commercial Quantity?

Under section 70 of the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981, a ‘Commercial Quantity’ of a drug of dependence is specified in Schedule 11 of the Act. The commercial quantity for steroids is 5 kilograms.

What Police Need to Prove

To convict you of Trafficking in steroids – Commercial Quantity, the prosecution must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • You intentionally ‘trafficked’ or ‘attempted to traffick’ in steroids; and
  • That the substance was steroids; and
  • That the substance that was steroids was of a Commercial Quantity.

Use Steroids

Using steroids is an offence under section 75 of the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981, the maximum penalty is 30 penalty units or 1 year imprisonment.

What Constitutes ‘Use’?

Pursuant to section 70(1) of the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 ‘use’ in relation to a drug of dependence means:

  • Smoke a drug of dependence;
  • Inhale the fumes caused by heating or burning a drug of dependence; or
  • Introduce a drug of dependence into the body of a person.

What the Police Must Prove

To convict you of using steroids, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you used or attempted to use steroids.

Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?

An offence of using steroids will be heard at the Magistrates’ Court.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.

WHERE TO NEXT?

If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.

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