What Happens During Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Investigations?

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Dec 30, 2022 | 0 Comments

If you're a healthcare professional, the last thing you want to receive is a notification that you're under investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). But what triggers a DEA investigation, and what are the consequences if the investigation goes against you?

While you should contact Joseph Lento, an experienced defense attorney, immediately if you're facing DEA issues, here's an overview of what to expect.

What Is a DEA Investigation?

The DEA is the federal agency responsible for monitoring any controlled substance distribution around the US. Healthcare professionals subject to the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), or those who can dispense or prescribe medicine, face DEA scrutiny.

Purposes of DEA Inspections

The DEA looks for unusual behavior patterns which might suggest that someone is dispensing drugs unlawfully. Here are some examples of behavior that may trigger further DEA scrutiny.

  • A medical office or pharmacy open at unusual hours.
  • Health providers who see many one-time patients.
  • A large volume of prescriptions for opioids or for controlled substances at high doses.

Such behavior could suggest illegal practices such as drug theft, drug diversion, or drug trafficking. However, there are also many innocent explanations – don't let a single anomaly ruin your career. Seek legal advice immediately if you're accused of any illegal drug practices.

The DEA Investigation Process

Routine investigations may happen every few years, but inspections based on allegations of suspicious activity can happen at any time. The DEA investigators may ask to see various records such as prescription logs, dispensing logs, your DEA registration, and lists of patients on opioid medications to identify anomalies.

Often, the DEA will ask the practitioner to give “informed consent” to an inspection rather than going to court for a warrant. However, if you are presented with a warrant or you're notified that there's a criminal investigation pending, you should comply but contact an attorney immediately for advice on how to proceed.

During the process, you may be asked to “voluntarily” surrender your DEA registration to avoid criminal charges or a forced license suspension. Consult a professional license defense attorney before surrendering your license.

Consequences of a DEA Investigation

Depending on the findings, your DEA license may be suspended or revoked. Losing your license, even temporarily, can affect your ability to practice medicine or run your healthcare business. You may find it harder to reapply for a license in the future, and in serious cases, you may also face criminal prosecution for drug charges.

Attorney Joseph Lento can evaluate your case and determine which defenses may apply in your case. He will do everything possible to help you preserve your professional reputation and your livelihood.

Professional License Defense Attorney

A DEA investigation could jeopardize the career you've worked so hard to build – don't leave anything to chance. Attorney Joseph Lento will use his experience in handling professional licensing matters to help you achieve the best possible outcome in your case. Call him now at 888.535.3686 or reach out to him online for a consultation.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento has unparalleled experience fighting for the futures of his professional clients nationwide. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment


Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm are committed to answering your questions about Physician License Defense, Nursing License Defense, Pharmacist License Defense, Psychologist and Psychiatrist License Defense, Dental License Defense, Chiropractic License Defense, Real Estate License Defense, Professional Counseling License Defense, and Other Professional Licenses law issues nationwide.
The Lento Law Firm will gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations - the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.