DEA Disciplinary Actions - Oberheiden, P.C.
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DEA Disciplinary Actions

Aggressive Legal Defense and Savvy Advice for Protecting Your Best Interests in DEA Disciplinary Actions

In today’s world of complex regulatory schemes, federal oversight, and fraud, it isn’t enough for doctors just to be doctors or business people just to be good at business. Modern professionals must also navigate a challenging series of legal rules — rules that are always changing in spite of the fact that doctors and administrators don’t have the time or even the resources to keep up.

Unfortunately, innocent mistakes and seemingly minor errors can lead to devastating legal consequences for healthcare practitioners in the United States.  Federal agencies like the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration are all too eager to “throw the book” at medical professionals, who may not even realize they’re in error — or who haven’t actually done anything wrong at all.

The DEA is only one of the many federal agencies that healthcare professionals must be concerned about, but it’s certainly among the most important. In this country, anyone who wishes to dispense or prescribe controlled substances (e.g., the majority of prescription medications) must apply for and then maintain a DEA Certificate of Registration.

Violating any of the laws pertaining to controlled substances (chiefly the Controlled Substances Act, or CSA) can lead to suspension or revocation of the provider’s DEA Registration, among other DEA disciplinary actions, the most serious of which can lead to imprisonment for a federal felony.

All of this is a source of considerable anxiety and intimidation for doctors in the United States, the majority of whom have no intention of breaking the law but fear they might do so accidentally. Sure enough, the DEA has been known to take excessively aggressive action against healthcare providers over simple misunderstandings.

The best response to overzealous DEA action is a strategic legal defense, mounted by experienced DEA defense attorneys.

A DEA defense lawyer can assess your situation and decide on the wisest approach, which might range from cooperation with an inspection or negotiating dropped charges to a full-blown defense in a hearing or at a trial.

In any event, DEA disciplinary actions are serious matters and demand your urgent, proactive attention. The federal government can and will use any available evidence against you, and that often means casting your every action, statement, and record in the harshest possible light.

At Oberheiden, P.C. we fight to get the very best outcome for our clients. That means that our efforts are dedicated to ending investigations, dropping charges, and setting the record straight. We are committed to doing everything possible to protect your license, reputation, registration, and freedom. Contact us today.

What Are Some of the Potential DEA Disciplinary Actions?

As a law enforcement agency that also plays a role in regulatory enforcement, the DEA has a wide range of disciplinary measures at its disposal, depending on the nature of the alleged violation.

Common DEA enforcement actions include:

  • DEA audits and inspections
  • DEA raids
  • Recommending voluntary surrender of DEA Certificate of Registration
  • Suspension of DEA registration
  • Revocation of DEA registration
  • Monetary fines (including “special assessments”)
  • Suspension of medical license (in conjunction with the state licensing boards)
  • Probation
  • Criminal charges and imprisonment (sometimes in conjunction with another law enforcement agency)

How Worried Should Doctors Be About DEA Discipline?

While no one should live in fear, it is good for all doctors — and anyone in the business of prescribing or dispensing medication — to be mindful of the looming oversight of the DEA.

The important thing to remember is that DEA agents could arrive at virtually any time, and their initial audits or inspections frequently happen with very little advance notice. Therefore, you want to be ready. Be vigilant in keeping thorough files and documentation and make every effort to follow the law — even when the DEA isn’t around. Call a lawyer and ask for advice on compliance when you aren’t sure. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

If a DEA agent does contact you or your practice, even for what appears to be a routine audit or inspection, now is the time to take precaution. Supposedly routine inspections can quickly spiral into full-fledged DEA investigations. Be careful of what you say, never agree to a voluntary surrender right away, do not admit any fault, and call an experienced DEA defense lawyer as early in the process as possible.

Offenses and Legal Violations That Trigger DEA Enforcement Actions

The Drug Enforcement Administration can come calling for many reasons, ranging from anonymous tips about wrongdoing to random inspections or so-called red flags in your practice’s prescribing patterns.

The DEA has either sole or concurrent jurisdiction over a number of legal offenses and violations, including:

  • Conspiracy to dispense a controlled substance
  • Conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance
  • Conspiracy to possess a controlled substance
  • Dispensing drugs without the proper or necessary labels
  • Drug diversion
  • Drug trafficking
  • Paperwork & filing violations (e.g., failure to maintain records as required)
  • Prescribing medications to drug-addicted patients
  • Prescribing medications outside of their medically accepted use (or outside the scope of your practice)
  • Violations of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA)

Contact Oberheiden, P.C. online today.

Put our highly experienced team on your side

Dr. Nick Oberheiden
Dr. Nick Oberheiden



Lynette S. Byrd
Lynette S. Byrd

Former DOJ Trial Attorney


Brian J. Kuester
Brian J. Kuester

Former U.S. Attorney

Amanda Marshall
Amanda Marshall

Former U.S. Attorney

Local Counsel

Joe Brown
Joe Brown

Former U.S. Attorney

Local Counsel

John W. Sellers
John W. Sellers

Former Senior DOJ Trial Attorney

Linda Julin McNamara
Linda Julin McNamara

Federal Appeals Attorney

Aaron L. Wiley
Aaron L. Wiley

Former DOJ attorney

Local Counsel

Roger Bach
Roger Bach

Former Special Agent (DOJ)

Chris Quick
Chris J. Quick

Former Special Agent (FBI & IRS-CI)

Michael S. Koslow
Michael S. Koslow

Former Supervisory Special Agent (DOD-OIG)

Ray Yuen
Ray Yuen

Former Supervisory Special Agent (FBI)

How a Federal Defense Lawyer Can Help with Your DEA Case

Whenever there’s a question of potential DEA disciplinary action, the stakes are always high. Without putting too fine a point on it, the reality is stark. Adverse action by the DEA could quickly lead to the loss of your license, a lifelong stain on your reputation, and the end of your career — not to mention the possibility of federal felony charges in some cases.

An experienced federal DEA defense lawyer can help you take a stand against the government’s accusations. By independently reviewing your paperwork, negotiating with the Administration, making persuasive arguments in front of the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) and DEA Administrator, and preparing your case for appeal, the right lawyer may very well be able to steer your case clear of worst-case scenarios.

At Oberheiden, P.C., our goals are for you to:

  • Stay in practice at all times so you don’t lose money
  • Keep your DEA Certificate of Registration
  • Maintain all your state licenses
  • Avoid criminal charges
  • End any audit, inspection, or investigation as quickly as possible
  • Avoid additional DEA disciplinary actions in the future
  • Protect your good name

Our Track Record in DEA Enforcement Actions

  • Representation of Pharmacy in DEA Investigation
    Result: No civil or criminal liability; license maintained.
  • Representation of Pharmacy in DEA Investigation
    Result: No civil or criminal liability; license maintained.
  • Representation of Physician in DEA Investigation
    Result: No civil or criminal liability; license maintained.
  • Representation of Physician in DEA Investigation
    Result: No civil or criminal liability; license maintained.

Schedule a Free Consultation with DEA Defense Lawyers from Oberheiden, P.C. Today

If you or your practice has been targeted by the DEA in a potential disciplinary or enforcement action, we invite you to contact Oberheiden, P.C. for a free and confidential consultation right away.

Our federal law defense lawyers are available seven days a week, even on weekends, to talk about how we might be able to help with your case. Oberheiden, P.C. maintains a multi state presence in its representation of clients facing DEA investigations.

This information has been prepared for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information may constitute attorney advertising in some jurisdictions. Reading of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship. Prior results do not guarantee similar future outcomes. Oberheiden P.C. is a Texas PC with headquarters in Dallas. Mr. Oberheiden limits his practice to federal law.

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