Facing a criminal investigation?

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DEA Audits and DEA Investigations | DEA Lawyers

The Notice of Inspection will indicate the specific controlled substances that are being audited. The DEA will also request access to all records related to the specific controlled substances being audited. This includes patient files, prescription records, inventory records, and any other records that pertain to the specific controlled substances being audited.

The DEA has a few options when conducting an audit. The first option is to conduct a “walk-through” audit. This is where the DEA will simply walk through your facility and take a look at your operations and inventory control procedures. They may ask you questions about your operations during this time, but they will not take any records with them during this type of audit.

The second option is for the DEA to conduct an “on-site” audit. This is where they will actually take some of your records with them for further review at their office or lab. The DEA may also seize some of your inventory during this type of audit if they believe it was obtained illegally or if it was not properly accounted for in your inventory control procedures. If this happens, you should immediately contact an attorney who specializes in these types of cases so that you can protect your rights and get back what belongs to you as soon as possible.

Administrative Search Warrants for DEA Inspections and Investigations

The DEA may also conduct an audit without a warrant if the registrant consents to the audit. The DEA may ask for consent to an audit at any time, including during an inspection. The DEA is required to give the registrant a written notice of the results of the audit within 30 days after completion of the audit. If the DEA finds that there are discrepancies between what was reported and what was actually dispensed, it will send a letter to the registrant informing him or her of these discrepancies and asking for an explanation. If there are no discrepancies, then no further action will be taken by the DEA. If you have been contacted by a DEA auditor or inspector, you should contact a qualified healthcare attorney immediately. An attorney can help you understand your rights and obligations during an audit and can represent you if any disciplinary action is taken against your license as a result of an audit.

Criminal Search Warrants

If the DEA obtains a criminal search warrant, it means that the DEA has probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed and that evidence of the crime is located at your premises. A criminal search warrant authorizes the DEA to seize evidence of a crime. The Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable searches and seizures. If you believe that the DEA conducted an unreasonable search or seizure, you should contact our attorneys immediately. Our attorneys are experienced in handling DEA investigations and enforcement actions and can give you immediate advice to help protect you, your practice and your DEA registration.

DEA Subpoenas

The DEA may issue subpoenas for documents, records or testimony without prior notice to the recipient. A subpoena may be issued by a grand jury or by an administrative law judge during an administrative hearing before the Department of Justice Office of Administrative Law Judges (OALJ). If you receive a subpoena from the DEA, you should contact our attorneys immediately. Our attorneys are experienced in handling DEA investigations and enforcement actions and can give you immediate advice to help protect you, your practice and your DEA registration.

If the DEA has a warrant to inspect your practice, you should:

• Remain calm. Do not argue with the agents. You have the right to remain silent and to have an attorney present during questioning.

• Ask for a copy of the warrant. If you do not understand it, ask for clarification. If you believe that the warrant is too broad or otherwise improper, tell the agent and ask him or her to wait while you contact your attorney.

• Do not try to stop the search unless you believe that agents are violating your rights or searching beyond what is authorized by the warrant. If this occurs, call your attorney immediately and make a note of what happened and who was present when it occurred.

• Cooperate with agents during their search of your practice; however, do not answer questions without first consulting with an attorney. You have a Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, which means that you cannot be forced to answer questions if doing so would incriminate yourself or lead to evidence of criminal activity. Agents may try to trick you into saying something incriminating by asking questions in a friendly manner or telling you that they are just trying to help you out; however, anything that you say can be used against you in court if charges are filed against you based on information obtained during the search of your practice. Do not let agents trick or intimidate you into making statements that could be used against you later on in court proceedings; instead, politely tell them that everything will need to go through your attorney before any further discussion can take place between them and yourself.

After DEA Agents Leave Your Practice: What Happens Next?

The answer to this question depends on what information the DEA obtained during the search of your practice. If the DEA obtained evidence that it believes is incriminating, you may be arrested and charged with a crime. If you are arrested, you will be taken into custody and brought before a judge for an arraignment hearing. At this hearing, the judge will inform you of the charges against you and ask whether you plead guilty or not guilty. You should plead not guilty at this hearing; however, if you have already discussed your case with an attorney and decided to plead guilty, then you can do so at this hearing. After pleading not guilty, the judge will set bail for your release from custody until your trial date. Once bail is set, if you have enough money to pay it in full or if someone else pays it for you, then you will be released from custody until your trial date; however, if bail is set at an amount that is too high for anyone to pay on your behalf or if no one pays it for you within a reasonable amount of time after being set by the judge (usually within 24 hours), then a warrant will be issued for your arrest and re-incarceration in jail until your trial date.

If no evidence was obtained during the search of your practice that could lead to criminal charges being filed against you, then there is nothing further that needs to happen after agents leave your practice; however, if they found evidence that they believe could lead to criminal charges being filed against someone else (such as one of your employees), then they may return later on with an arrest warrant for one or more individuals involved in illegal activity at your practice.

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