Fort Lauderdale Steroid & HGH Charges Attorney
Experienced Criminal Attorney Serving Fort Lauderdale, Miami & West Palm Beach
Increasingly, federal agents are devoting their time to investigating people accused of trafficking in steroids and human growth hormone (HGH). These substances are highly sought by bodybuilders, weight trainers, professional athletes and anti-aging clinics for their muscle-building and cell regeneration abilities. They are also highly regulated by the federal government. Clinics and their employees have been investigated for the sale or distribution of anabolic steroids, human growth hormone, testosterone, and other controlled substances.
The legal status of performance-enhancing drugs (PED) such as steroids and HGH is complicated, and it can be unclear what is and is not a violation of the law regarding these substances. For instance, anabolic steroids, or “body building” drugs, are Schedule III narcotics under the federal Controlled Substances Act. At the same time, the DEA exempts about 50 anabolic steroids from the Act.
If you are being investigated or have been arrested for trafficking in steroids or HGH, get help from an experienced federal drug crimes defense lawyer. In Fort Lauderdale, Miami or West Palm Beach, call Bruce L. Udolf, P.A. for help from a former federal drug crime prosecutor and long-time Fort Lauderdale drug crime attorney for federal drug charges in South Florida.
What is HGH? Is it a crime to sell HGH?
Human growth hormone, or HGH, is a hormone that occurs naturally in the human body. It is produced by the pituitary gland and plays key functions in the growth, reproduction and regeneration of cells in the body. For years now, synthetic forms of HGH have also been commercially available.
For people with a growth hormone deficiency, HGH can help them build muscle mass, improve bone density, reduce body fat, and increase their capacity for exercise. HGH is therefore prescribed to people diagnosed with HGH deficiency or insufficiency, as well as a number of other disorders such as chronic kidney disease, muscle wasting disease, and HIV or AIDS.
In its role of building, maintaining and repairing healthy tissue in the body, HGH helps repair muscle tissue after a period of intense exercise, such as weight training. Because of this effect, HGH is sometimes sought by professional athletes and serious bodybuilders. HGH may be used instead of or in conjunction with steroids for muscle growth.
A special section of the federal Controlled Substances Act makes it a crime to knowingly distribute HGH or possess HGH with intent to distribute for any use other than the treatment of a disease or other condition authorized by the federal government and under doctor’s orders. This complicated language may mean that doctors can be arrested for prescribing HGH for off-label use, a common practice which is not illegal for other medications.
Penalties for a violation of the law can include fines plus up to five years in prison, or ten years if the offense involves an individual under 18. The violation is also classified as a felony, making the accused subject to asset forfeiture.
What are the penalties for steroid violations?
All controlled substances regulated by the federal government are classified into Schedules I through V, depending on factors such as their medical value, their potential for abuse, and their potential to create dependence on the drug. As a schedule III substance, steroids are considered to have a moderate potential for abuse or physical or psychological dependence. A small number of anabolic steroids have been approved for medical purposes, such as the treatment of low testosterone or delayed puberty.
As a controlled substance, federal law prohibits trafficking in steroids, including the unlawful distribution, possession with intent to distribute, manufacture, importation and exportation, etc. Even though steroids are only a Schedule III drug, violation of the law can result in up to 15 years in prison and $500,000 to $2.5 million in fines on a first offense, or double those figures for a second offense.
Call Criminal Defense Attorney Bruce L. Udolf for Steroid & HGH Charges in South Florida
In one case, Bruce was able to successfully negotiate immunity for several owners of hormone replacement clinics which resulted in defeating the government’s efforts to prosecute those owners for felonies.
If you are the owner of a clinic or an employee under investigation for the potentially unlawful distribution of steroids or HGH, call Bruce L. Udolf, P.A., for immediate assistance from a knowledgeable and experienced federal drug charges defense lawyer. With offices in Fort Lauderdale, Miami & West Palm Beach, we provide skilled and able representation throughout South Florida.