Illinois DEA registration defense lawyer 104 formIn light of the current opioid epidemic in the United States, state and federal governments – as well as state boards of pharmacy and medicine – have ramped up their investigations into suspected improper prescribing habits. In particular, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is aggressively reviewing prescription and medical records for pharmacists and physicians who hold DEA registrations.

Increasingly, these DEA registrants are reporting that DEA agents are appearing unannounced at their homes or businesses to interview the registrants and inspect the premises for evidence of wrongdoing. In most cases, the agents then ask the registrants to sign what’s called a 104 Form, whereby the registrant voluntarily surrenders his or her DEA registration. The agents assure the registrant that the surrender is temporary and that he/she can get his/her registration back “in a few weeks” as long as they cooperate with the investigation.

You should not do this without first consulting an attorney.

Our firm regularly handles cases where a physician or pharmacist signed the form, thinking he had no choice but to do so and that the registration would promptly be reinstated. First, you have the right to not sign the document, and you should not be unduly pressured into signing it. The loss of your DEA registration will almost inevitably cause you to lose your Illinois controlled substance license, and that can be a long, expensive process with severe professional consequences. Second, the process for reinstating your DEA registration can extend for months and is dependent upon you not having a restricted Illinois controlled substance license.

You should not perceive any DEA investigator as an ally. Instead, seek the advice of an attorney who can advocate for you and protect your due process and substantive rights. Your career can be severely harmed by signing a 104 Form, and the decision should not be made without full consideration of all of your options and rights.