DEA Registration Revocation and Suspension
For drug prescribers and dispensers in the healthcare industry, revocation or suspension of DEA registration can be devastating to their careers. The attorneys at Norman Spencer Law Group can help. Our experienced attorneys are dedicated to protecting DEA registrations of pharmacists, distributors, treatment facilities, nurse practitioners, doctors and others in the healthcare field.
With more than 10 years’ experience representing licensed healthcare professionals, our lawyers have deep knowledge of DEA matters as they pertain to retaining and maintaining registration. Our caseload has included:
- DEA registration suspensions and revocations
- DEA registration denials, renewal denials
- DEA audits and inspections
- DEA enforcement matters
DEA registration may be suspended, revoked or denied for a number of reasons. Some of the most common include:
- Suspension, revocation or denial of a state license
- False information provided on application for DEA registration
- Felony conviction related to a controlled substance
- Commission of an act inconsistent with public interest
Importance of Experienced DEA Registration Attorney
Defending DEA registration and professional licenses is a narrow field, and not every attorney is well-versed in the area. Our lawyers have practiced professional licensing for years, all the while dedicated to helping to defend state licenses and DEA registration of healthcare professionals who rely on one or both for their very livelihood. Pharmacies, doctors, pain clinics and distributors are just a few examples of the clients we serve.
We’ve helped healthcare clients defend their DEA registration during DEA inspections and investigations as well as in court. We also help with the DEA registration application process, DEA registration denial and DEA registration renewal issues.
Show Cause Order and Hearing
In order to revoke or suspend DEA registration, the DEA must first deliver an order to show cause to the registrant. While show cause orders typically precede a DEA registration suspension or revocation, they may be issued at the same time in certain emergency situations. Those situations are any that involve imminent danger to the public safety or health.
The show cause order requires the registrant to provide the reason why their DEA registration should not be suspended, revoked or denied. The order will include a statement of the reasons and legal basis for issuing the order, along with a summary of the law asserted and facts of the case.
Once a show cause order is served, the DEA registrant has 30 days to file a request for a hearing with an administrative law judge. The hearing allows the registrant to challenge the alleged facts contained in the show cause order. If the request for a hearing is not filed within the 30 days, the right to a hearing will be waived. If this occurs, the DEA may also request that final action be taken at this time.
For this very reason, contacting an attorney is imperative the moment you are presented with a show cause order. Failing to respond can result in final action being taken without an input on your end. Contacting a lawyer the moment you are presented with an immediate suspension order is equally as crucial, and the legal team at Norman Spencer Law Group can assist in both instances. Our attorneys can help preserve your rights and begin to prepare your defense in order to best protect your DEA registration.
Show Cause Hearings
Show cause hearings take place before a federal administrative law judge, and each party has the chance to present their respective arguments. Defendants may present witnesses and admit evidence to support their case. As is the case in criminal proceedings, the DEA has the burden of proof to show that a violation has occurred. It is up to the administrative law judge to decide if it is inconsistent with public interest for the defendant to maintain DEA registration.
The administrative law judge delivers a recommended decision after the hearing, with the recommendation also submitted to the DEA administrator. If either the DEA administrator or the defendant disagrees with the judge’s recommended decision, exceptions may be submitted.
The final decision is issued by the DEA administrator, who has the power to reject, modify or adopt the judge’s recommended decision. Several factors are considered by the DEA when deciding if DEA registration would be inconsistent with public interest. These include:
- Whether or not the registrant has maintained effective controls against drug diversion of controlled substances into legitimate industrial, scientific or medical channels
- Whether or not the registrant has complied with applicable local and state laws
- If the registrant has any prior state or federal convictions related to controlled substances
- If the registrant has experience with distribution of controlled substances
Additional factors relevant to public health and safety can also apply.
Registrants not satisfied with the final decision may file an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals.
While DEA registrants may often be given the option of voluntarily relinquishing their DEA registration in lieu of further action, this move could have a lasting impact on your practice and overall career. Before making such a monumental decision, it’s important to talk to a lawyer who can outline the longstanding consequences. The experienced healthcare attorneys at Norman Spencer Law Group can help with DEA registration issues. Contact our office to schedule a consultation today.