The DEA, or more formally, the Drug Enforcement Administration is responsible for the monitoring of narcotics in the United States. While most people think this solely pertains to illegal substances, it also monitors other areas such as the medical field. In recent years, prescription medication abuse has become a growing epidemic. As a result, the DEA has stepped up its efforts to curtail these substances from being sold illegally. Unfortunately, many times pharmacies and medical providers become the target of their investigation. If this has happened to you or your company, it’s important that you get in touch with a skilled attorney that can handle DEA legal matters for you.
The Consequences of DEA-Related Cases and Investigations
It’s important to remember that those representing the DEA are law enforcement officers. They’re responsible for making arrests and presenting evidence to support the charges they’re bringing against you. As such, it’s important that you don’t make any statements to them until you have an attorney present during questioning and interrogation. They will, in fact, use your statements against you if they’re incriminating. Once the damage is done, it makes it more challenging for your attorney to present a case that may have been much easier had you not made the statements. An attorney can guide you through the interrogation process, so you won’t be intimidated or misspeak.
DEA charges can have many negative and long-lasting consequences. Since the department operates under the Department of Justice, it’s a federal matter. This means that you’d be charged with a federal crime that’ll show up on every type of background check possible. If you’re a medical provider such as a doctor or pharmacist, you could lose your credentials and license. If Medicare, Medicaid, or a state-level insurance plan happens to be involved, you’ll most likely be charged with insurance fraud and other related crimes. Having drug charges and other federal crimes on your record will certainly harm your reputation among colleagues and could also harm your personal relationships.
How to Determine if You’re Being Investigated
There are numerous “clues” that are indicators that you may be under investigation; however, we’ll cover the most common. A “target letter” is a document that’s sent by the federal prosecutor telling you that you’re under investigation. They’ll request to meet with you and discuss the matter further. A search warrant and a DEA agent showing up at your home or workplace are also common. These will usually occur early in the morning, so they’ll be able to catch you at your home. If someone you work with has been notified or arrested due to an investigation, this is also a good indicator that you may be next. Friends, family members, and co-workers are often questioned by agents as part of the investigation. If you get wind of this happening, contact a federal criminal defense attorney at once. DEA agents will often approach you on the street and ask you questions that are related to your investigation. Simply inform them that you do not wish to give an opinion or statement.
Know when to Act
Retaining a federal criminal defense attorney is always in your best interest. Our legal system allows for self-representation but doesn’t have sympathy for non-lawyers. For a federal case, you’ll need an attorney that can navigate the federal court process and present a winning case on your behalf. Unfortunately, appeals on the federal level aren’t a rehearing or a second chance. It’s imperative that the job is done right the first time. Get in touch with our offices for a case review and we’ll be happy to provide you with feedback.