Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers understand the stakes are high when a medical professional faces fraud or drug-related charges. A conviction can mean the loss of a medical license and the inability to earn a living for which a doctor, pharmacist or medical professional has spent a decade or longer in training. Too often, these cases skirt the line between alleged criminal activity and what should remain confidential doctor-patient information.
Unfortunately, doctors and other professionals rarely have the experience with the criminal justice system that is often necessary in order to act in their own best interests. Too often, they agree to talk to investigators in an effort to clear up a misunderstanding and/or get themselves out of trouble. In reality, the best move is to consult with an experienced lawyer as soon as you determine you are the target of such an investigation. These are complex cases. Do not trust your future and your livelihood to someone whose job is to collect evidence of your guilt.
The 57-year-old Miami doctor is charged with conspiracy and dispensing and distributing controlled substances. The allegations are in connection with his work for Primary Care Primary Care Practitioners and Associates of West Palm Beach Inc. and Primary Care Practitioners and Associates Inc. in Hallandale Beach.
Police say he was paid $5,000 to visit the clinics several times a month and sign blank prescriptions. Employees would then issue the prescriptions to patients without the doctor being present. Authorities allege the clinics handed out prescriptions for more than 300,000 pills during the last 5 years, including Oxycodone and alprazolam.
Scrutiny of a doctor’s dispensing of pain medication is likely to continue. The Sun-Sentinel reports Palm Beach politicians are looking at toughening restrictions of pain clinics and other drug dispensing facilities.
The Palm Beach Post reports Gov. Scott has earmarked $800,000 to beef up enforcement even as he has come out against a database that would track such prescriptions.
Nationwide, authorities point to South Florida as the capital of pain clinics, or so-called pill mills. The Miami Herald tells the story of a man released from prison in 2004 after serving time for trafficking in heroin and cocaine, only to build a string of seven pain clinics selling $150,000 a day worth of prescription narcotics.
Yet prescribing pain medication and selling illegal narcotics are worlds apart. The problems arise when law enforcement treats them as one and the same.
If you are facing drug charges in Broward or Palm Beach counties, contact the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert, a Partnership of Former Prosecutors, for a free consultation to discuss your rights. Call 1.888.5.DEFEND.