There isn’t an employed medical professional who isn’t aware of the opioid epidemic that is garnering national attention in the United States. This is because there are many who state that the reason there is an opioid epidemic is because doctors over prescribe these useful pain killers to those who may not be in legitimate enough pain to merit them. This, in turn, has lead to great scrutiny of all medical professionals and actually led to many instead to being more weary of giving prescriptions out to those in pain. However, while many doctors are turning away from narcotic prescriptions, those who aren’t may find their medical license at risk.
As the growing opioid crisis is putting more of a spotlight on doctors, this means cases of prescribing narcotics illegally or drug diversion have skyrocketed. While this can also mean some criminal repercussions if convicted, even just being accused can put your professional license at risk. As the accusation alone is taken very seriously, you need to take quick action to make sure your license is protected.
When Accused of Prescribing Narcotics Illegally
When an accusation of prescribing narcotics illegally comes in, you will find yourself in a flurry of investigations. First it may be a police investigation that will look deeply into the matter. They will look through the files of your practice for everything and anything concerning your prescription practices, including potential:
- Altering prescriptions
- Stealing prescription narcotics
- Selling prescription narcotics
- Refilling prescriptions without medical authorization
- Distributing narcotics to patients without proper identification
- Distributing narcotics to a minor
While the police may be investigating one specific incident, you may find them going through all your records searching for other illegal prescriptions of narcotics. As such, these investigations can often take some time. However, this accusation will also be reported to the licensing board where they, too, will dispatch an investigator. If a complaint was made to the board before law enforcement, if the board investigators turn up any evidence, they will also report it to law enforcement so criminal charges can be filed.
Depending on the extent of any potential illegal prescription of narcotics, you may find yourself facing federal charges. If any investigation uncovers huge amounts of illegal prescription activity, the case will be handed over to the DEA and you will be charged on a federal level. However, one of two instances of wrong decision making may come with lighter local criminal charges as well as formal punishments by your licensing board.
The unfortunate reality is that even one mistake will put your professional license in jeopardy. If you have long been distributing illegal narcotics, the revocation of your license will be swift and, if you have been caught, likely expected. However, if you made one or two mistakes that were reported, this can also lead to a much more devastating revocation if you don’t take steps to fight the accusation.
What to Do Next?
If you have received an accusation, whether it was from law enforcement or your licensing board, your very next step should be to contact an attorney. Even if the accusations have no merit, your reputation is in jeopardy and your defense needs to start as early as possible. By contacting an attorney in the early stages of an accusation, they can advise you on the next best step to fight accusations, criminal charges, and the potential revocation of your medical license.
If you have been accused of illegally providing narcotics in Minnesota, contact us today. Obviously you are very concerned over the issue, but the professionals at the Speas Law Firm can keep you advised every step of the way and make sure you get the best possible outcome.
Disclaimer: The content of this article does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Please contact Jennifer Speas to discuss the specifics of your case.