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Our New York attorneys routinely handle DEA audits. These types of audits are common, and can lead to criminal prosecution or administrative action against your DEA registration – if there are violations of the CSA found. We advise DEA registrants – who are subject to an investigation or audit, to contact our New York DEA Audit lawyers immediately. We advise you of your rights, and how to proceed forward. We can represent you during a DEA audit, and help you avoid future litigation.
The DEA frequently conducts investigations. It frequently does audits, in order to determine if you’re in compliance with the CSA. These audits and inspections are done typically to investigate pharmacy drug diversion practices, deviations in prescribing patterns compared to other prescribers. In some cases they are random to insurance compliance. Practitioners are typically inspected once every 3 years. It may be more frequent if they prescribe buprenoprhine or they have a Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000 waiver. Narcotic treatment programs, distributors, or other non-practitioner DEA registrants typically can expect a DEA inspection once every 5 years or so.
The DEA doesn’t require a search warrant in order to conduct a DEA inspection in order to ensure compliance with the CSA. If the DEA is participating in a criminal investigation with other agencies – they must have a search warrant to search your clinic. DEA inspections are conducted by DEA diversion investigators in field offices across the US. DEA audits begin when a DEA Form 82 or an administrative inspection warrant is presented to a registrant before the inspection happens.
If DEA Form 82 is presented, then the DEA registrant is required to give informed consent before the audit or inspection can proceed. Informed consent is a statement by the registrant saying he/she was informed of their constitutional rights not to have an administrative inspection, and that anything of incriminating nature can be used against the registrant in the event there is a criminal proceeding. Moreover, you voluntarily consent to the search. In some cases, the DEA doesn’t need informed consent to conduct the inspection. An administrative warrant isn’t required for establishments that are applying for initial DEA registration, or for inspection of books pursuant to an administrative subpoena which is issued by the DEA’s subpoena power. Also, if the administrative inspection is due to imminent danger to the public health, then no informed consent is needed.
If the registrant refuses to give informed consent to the audit, the DEA has to get a administrative inspection warrant. Unlike a search warrant, an administrative inspection warrant doesn’t require the DEA to demonstrate probable cause. In order to obtain an administrative search warrant, the DEA is required to describe the nature/extent of the inspection. In addition, the DEA has to say what items they are going to be seizing. Courts often routinely grant administrative search warrants. If the DEA presents an administrative warrant when conducting a DEA audit/inspection, then you have to comply. It’s helpful if you have an attorney at this junction. Refusal to comply can be grounds for arrest. If you receive such a warrant, you should contact us immediately. We have experience handling investigations and enforcement actions and can give you advice immediately.
There are many reasons why you may refuse to give informed consent – even though you know the DEA will obtain an administrative search warrant. First, the DEA conducts inspections with no prior warning. That means you have no prior warning to hire an attorney before the search/audit begins. We recommend registrants who get an administrative subpoena contact our attorneys immediately. We can help determine if you should give informed consent for a DEA inspection. If the DEA presents and administrative search warrant and the investigation is already on going we can help ensure the DEA doesn’t go over the scope of the warrant. In addition, we can identify potential areas of the concern the DEA isn’t aware of yet – and help prevent future problems.
Administrative search warrants don’t give the DEA authority to inspect everything. The statute limits what can be inspected. The DEA may interview you, or your staff. Any information offered can be used against you in either administrative or criminal proceedings. We advise you hire our attorneys before speaking with the DEA. We can help ensure your rights are protected and that the DEA doesn’t exceed the scope of the warrant.
After a DEA audit, if noncompliance is determine – the DEA will issue an audit report detailing the issues it found to be noncompliant with the CSA. If noncompliance is found, then the DEA will refer the matter to the DOJ and take administrative actions against the practitioner or the facilities DEA registration.
Regardless of what stage you’re at, we can help. We have ongoing relationships with providers and businesses all over the USA who we help in DEA investigations. Our goal is to protect your DEA registration, professional licenses, careers, and reputations from DEA investigations.