Aggressive Federal Legal Counsel for Health Care Practitioners Facing DEA Revocations and Suspensions
If you are a doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider who is currently facing potential suspension or revocation of your DEA Certificate of Registration, you might fear for the future of your career, your livelihood, or even your freedom (if potential criminal charges are on the table).
But there is good news. Doctors and other professionals frequently emerge from these situations victoriously, and they can go on to continue their successful medical practices in good standing within the community.
Your chances of defeating the revocation attempt are better if you have an experienced team of DEA defense lawyers guiding you along the way.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is an aggressive federal law enforcement agency that takes its job very seriously. If it has reason to believe you have violated the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) — or if DEA agents have received an anonymous tip about your practice, or even if your everyday business practices have registered a “red flag” in their system — you might suddenly find yourself under undue scrutiny.
Many of the providers targeted for DEA suspensions and revocations are hard-working professionals. Many have not done anything wrong, and have never imagined they might face a federal law enforcement investigation.
It goes without saying that your DEA registration is essential to your career. Doctors, pharmacists, and nurse practitioners must be able to prescribe or dispense medications to their patients in order to stay in business. Therefore, the threat of DEA suspensions and revocations is a direct threat to your livelihood.
That’s why you want to take any encounter with DEA agents seriously. The agents might first ask you to provide voluntary consent to a search or audit (which may or may not be a good idea, depending on the circumstances), or to voluntarily surrender your DEA Certificate of Registration (which is almost never a good idea).
If you refuse to surrender, the DEA will then have to move forward with an Order to Show Cause, after which you will have an opportunity to have a hearing.
You have rights throughout this process, and you deserve the best attorneys available to represent them.
Oberheiden, P.C. is an experienced DEA defense law firm comprised of former federal prosecutors. We have a strong record of success in DEA enforcement and other health care criminal matters, including DEA suspensions and revocations. In every case, we are committed to:
- Keeping your DEA registration and state licenses in good standing
- Protecting you from criminal prosecution or conviction
- Explaining your rights and options
- Defending your reputation and the future of your career
Don’t face the DEA alone. Contact the experienced federal health care defense attorneys at Oberheiden, P.C. today.
When Is the DEA Allowed to Suspend or Revoke DEA Registration?
The DEA can only revoke or suspend Certificates of Registration when it has adequate grounds for doing so. These grounds include:
- Falsifying information in your DEA registration application
- Being excluded from participation in Medicare or Medicaid
- Being convicted of a felony involving controlled substances
- Having your license suspended or revoked (or an application denied) in at least one state
- Voluntarily surrendering your registration
- Engaging in behavior that is counter to the public interest
- If allowing you to maintain registration would pose an imminent danger to public health or safety
The DEA Show Cause Process for Health Care Providers
If the DEA wishes to suspend or revoke your registration and you refuse to surrender, the Administration will then issue an Order to Show Cause, a document which:
- Explains why the DEA is seeking suspension or revocation
- Orders you to explain why your registration should not be suspended or revoked (“show cause”)
- Notifies you of your right to request a hearing in response to the Order
You will need to effectively respond to the Order to Show Cause within 30 days. Any request for a hearing must be made within that same timeframe. Failure to request a hearing within the 30-day window constitutes a waiver of your right to a Show Cause Hearing.
If you request a hearing, it will be held in front of a federal Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). During the hearing, each side will make arguments, offer evidence, and call witnesses as needed.
It is important to note that the DEA has the burden of proof in these matters, but the relevant standard is “a preponderance of the evidence.” This is a lower bar than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard used in most criminal proceedings. The DEA will only need to show that it is “more likely than not” that the purported legal infraction occurred.
Having heard the arguments from both sides, the ALJ will enter a recommendation to the DEA Administrator, who will then make a final decision.
The DEA Administrator’s decision is based on a number of factors, including whether you have:
- Complied with all relevant laws at the federal, state, and local levels
- Previously been convicted of any crimes relating to a controlled substance
- Taken effective measures against diverting controlled substances into unlawful channels
- Any previous experience in distributing controlled substances
Additionally, the Administrator is also allowed to consider other factors that might be relevant to public safety and the public good.
Our DEA Audit and Inspection Defense Attorneys
Dr. Nick Oberheiden is an accomplished attorney, author, and legal correspondent for numerous major media outlets. He is renowned as an authority on issues pertaining to federal health care law, including health care fraud, DEA suspensions and revocations, and other federal enforcement actions. He has successfully defended numerous individuals and corporate clients (including doctors and health care practices) against federal criminal charges and regulatory enforcement actions. Dr. Oberheiden holds a PhD in law, a Juris Doctorate from the UCLA School of Law, and has been trained in negotiation at Harvard Law School.
Bill C. McMurrey is known to his clients as the attorney you call when losing simply is not an option. He is a former Department of Justice trial lawyer, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney, the former Lead Prosecutor for Criminal Health Care Fraud, the former Health Care Fraud Coordinator for the North District of Texas at the United States Department of Justice, the former Assistant Attorney General with the Texas Attorney General Office in the Criminal Enforcement Division, and a former Briefing Attorney to Justice W.C. Davis. Bill’s primary practice areas are government investigations (including DEA revocation actions), federal criminal defense, health care law, antitrust matters, whistleblower cases, and complex litigation.
Lynette S. Byrd defends both individual and corporate clients who are accused of federal crimes or under investigation by state / federal agencies, including the DEA. Ms. Byrd is a former federal prosecutor , and she served for several years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas. While representing the federal government, she worked on a number of a high-profile cases, including one of the largest health care fraud cases in her district, and collected millions of dollars for the government on behalf of taxpayers. Today, she puts her experience as a former prosecutor to work for health care providers and their organizations against enforcement actions brought on by the DEA and other federal entities.
Contact the DEA Suspensions and Revocations Defense Attorneys at Oberheiden, P.C.
If you are currently facing a DEA revocation or suspension action (or an Order to Show Cause), please contact the legal professionals at Oberheiden, P.C. right away.
You should expect the DEA agents and lawyers to move forward aggressively in your case. Level the playing field by putting an aggressive and experienced team of attorneys on your side.