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IL DEA defense lawyerFor medical providers who prescribe or dispense controlled substances, maintaining a valid DEA registration is a crucial requirement that is necessary to continue providing services to patients. In some cases, these providers may be subject to DEA investigations and enforcement of laws and regulations related to controlled substances. The DEA is aggressive in its efforts to combat the illegal distribution of drugs, and agents will often threaten a provider and state that they could face criminal consequences, but this could be avoided if a person voluntarily surrenders their DEA registration. However, providers should understand that doing so is an irrevocable step that is likely to have a variety of negative effects on their medical license, their practice, and their career.

Consequences of Surrendering Your DEA Registration

Being subject to a DEA investigation can be very intimidating. If a DEA agent presents you with Form 104, “Voluntary Surrender of Controlled Substances Privileges,” and states that if you do not cooperate and turn over your controlled substance registration, you could face criminal prosecution, you may feel that you have no option other than to sign this form. Some DEA agents may even offer reassurances, claiming that agreeing to a voluntary surrender will make things easier for you and that you will be able to reapply for registration in the future.

In reality, voluntarily surrendering your DEA registration will make things easier for the DEA, but it will make things much more difficult for you. If the DEA was to pursue a case against you, they would have to prove that you committed violations such as unlawful prescribing or unlawful dispensing of controlled substances, and you will have the right to defend yourself in a DEA administrative hearing. If you sign Form 104 and turn over your DEA registration, you will be admitting to the DEA’s accusations and giving up your right to a hearing, and the DEA will no longer need to show that you committed any violations.

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Il license defense lawyerMedical providers that prescribe, dispense, or handle controlled substances are required to follow all applicable laws and regulations related to these drugs. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) monitors providers to ensure that controlled substances are being used correctly, and it may take action to address any potential violations of the law. As part of its ongoing efforts, the DEA often conducts audits and inspections, and providers who have received a Notice of Inspection from the DEA will want to understand their rights and how they can protect themselves from consequences that could affect their DEA registration or their professional license.

Understanding DEA Inspections

The DEA performs regular, routine audits of medical providers that have a controlled substance registration. Inspections may also be performed as part of a larger investigation related to possible drug diversion, including in cases involving reports or claims of unlawful prescribing, unlawful dispensing, or conspiracy to possess or distribute controlled substances.

While the DEA may obtain a search warrant before performing an inspection, in most cases, a provider will receive a Notice of Inspection. This notice will follow a standard form (DEA Form 82), and it will include the name and address of the premises being inspected, the name and title of the owner or operator in charge of the premises, the date and time when the inspection will be performed, and the signature of the person performing the inspection. Typically, a registrant must provide informed consent before an inspection can be performed, and they have the constitutional right to refuse an inspection. Informed consent is given by signing a written statement in which a provider will verify that they understand that the results of an inspection could be used as evidence if the DEA or other law enforcement officials decide to pursue criminal drug charges.

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