Drug Diversion Defense Attorneys
With experience representing licensed healthcare professionals for the past decade, the legal team at Norman Spencer Law Group has handled drug diversion cases. We represent and support healthcare providers through all stages of their drug diversion case, from speaking with investigators to defending clients in administrative and board hearings, and all the way to fighting license suspensions.
Our drug diversion cases have involved doctors, nurses and pharmacists facing a variety of drug diversion allegations. These have extended from minor licensing infractions all the way to multiple-count federal indictments.
We likewise help licensed healthcare professionals accused of drug diversion by their employer. Our aim here is to work with the employer to resolve allegations prior to the allegations being reported to the board.
Protecting your license is of utmost importance in drug diversion cases, and our experienced healthcare lawyers can help. One of the keys to effective legal representation during a drug diversion proceeding is to secure legal assistance as rapidly as possible.
If our legal team is contacted before a healthcare professional speaks with an investigator, it’s even possible to have the allegations of drug diversion dismissed at the investigation level. It’s also possible to dissolve suspension orders and secure dismissals of formal complaints. Acting swiftly when faced with drug diversion allegations is of utmost importance, and the lawyers at Norman Spencer Law Group are at your service.
Drug Diversion Explained
Drug diversion refers to the illegal use or obtaining of prescription medications, and there are several ways this can happen. One of the most common examples is doctors writing prescriptions for narcotics without a legitimate medical need. Another is nurses diverting medication from a dispensing machine. Drug diversion can also be applied to transferring prescription medications into an illegal distribution channel.
In any case, drug diversion allegations are extremely serious and they can result in criminal charges if federal or state authorities are alerted. Combatting drug diversion falls into the hands of several federal and state investigators, including DEA Office of Diversion Control, state licensing investigators, and drug and narcotic enforcement teams
State Drug Diversion Investigations
When drug diversion allegations are referred to the state licensing board that oversees your profession, your case will be assigned to investigator. Investigators generally call after the investigation into your allegations is complete. It’s crucial that you do not meet with the investigator without an attorney who is both qualified and experienced handling drug diversion allegations.
If the investigation surfaced enough evidence to move forward, your case may be referred to local or state police agencies or the attorney general for criminal charges to be filed. The results of the investigation are also forwarded to your state licensing board, even if no criminal charges are being filed. The board will then determine if a formal complaint needs to be issued. If so, your case then goes through the channels of the formal administrative complaint process.
Federal Drug Diversion Investigations
Federal drug diversion cases are handled by the DEA Office of Diversion Control. This office was specifically established to handle drug diversion cases involving healthcare providers. The DEA investigates and helps the Department of Justice (DOJ) indict healthcare professionals on criminal charges that violate the CSA, or Controlled Substances Act.
Once the DEA completes its investigation, the DOJ determines if your case warrants federal prosecution or if it should be deferred to state prosecutors or the state licensing board.
DEA drug diversion investigations often involve undercover officers or patients who show up at a pharmacy or practice and try to obtain narcotics without a legitimate medical need. They may approach patients to coerce their cooperation, asking them to visit the practice while they’re being recorded. Once the DEA establishes its case, it will engage cooperation from local authorities and the FBI to raid the location.
In addition to negative news coverage of the raid, you can also expect authorities to try to obtain a statement from providers and employees. This is another time you want to be especially wary, as it’s unwise to make a statement without first consulting with an experienced drug diversion defense attorney.
By the time a place is raided, authorities generally have enough evidence to charge the parties involved, and they may have already issued an indictment that remains under seal. Because you may have already been charged by the time you realize you’re under investigation, it’s crucial to obtain an attorney at the first hint of drug diversion allegations.
Even if you aren’t initially facing criminal charges in a drug diversion case, you can be if your case is referred to a prosecutor after the state licensing proceedings. That makes it even more important to seek out experienced legal help for any matter related to drug diversion, even before responding to what may seem like as straightforward letter from the state licensing board. Any information you disclose can later be held against you.
The healthcare lawyers at Norman Spencer Law Group are at your service and qualified to help. Contact our office for a consultation today.
Statements Made to Investigators Regarding Drug Diversion
We assist health providers at all stages of the drug diversion case, including representing providers when speaking to investigators, defending providers in board hearings and administrative hearings, dissolving license suspensions and fighting referrals to impairment programs (HPRP, PRN and IPN).
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Drug diversion refers to the misappropriation of prescription medication without legal autho
Drug diversion is defined as the misappropriation of prescription medication without legal authorization