For decades, the “war on drugs” in the United States was focused primarily on illicit street drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine. In more recent years, however, law enforcement efforts have been driven by the opioid and prescription drug crisis in the U.S. Consequently, doctors and pharmacists who prescribe and distribute legal drugs have come under increased scrutiny by state and federal law enforcement agencies. Many of these investigations and subsequent prosecutions involve alleged “pill mills.”
If you have reason to believe you are under investigation or have been charged with illegally prescribing or distributing a controlled substance through your participation in a “pill mill” operation, it is imperative that you act quickly to protect yourself and your future. As a former prosecuting attorney, Florida defense attorney Jonathan Rose knows the ins and outs of pill mill investigations and prosecutions. He puts his knowledge and experience to work aggressively protecting and defending doctors, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals accused of prescription drug and pill mill offenses.
For knowledgeable, aggressive protection of your rights and your future, call Attorney Jonathan Rose at 407-894-4555 or submit the “Tell Us What Happened” form on our website. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can intervene on your behalf and advocate for the best possible results.
What Is Considered a “Pill Mill?”
Although it is not a legal term, the term “pill mill” has become part of our lexicon in the United States. Both the media and law enforcement agents use the term to refer to a medical practice that allegedly prescribes and/or distributes prescription drugs to patients without a legitimate medical purpose and/or in quantities that are outside of the norm. The stereotypical “pill mill” allows patients to pay cash for a brief consultation which is followed by a doctor writing a prescription for powerful prescription pain medication.
Unfortunately, law enforcement agencies and government officials can be overzealous when pursuing suspected pill mills. A red flag from a federal monitoring system, a discrepancy during a routine audit, or even an anonymous tip can lead to law-abiding doctors and other healthcare professionals being targeted in state or federal criminal investigations.
If you are a doctor or other healthcare professional and believe you could be under investigation for illegally prescribing or distributing a controlled substance, you need a Florida defense attorney who is experienced at defending doctors and other healthcare professionals and their medical licenses. Call Attorney Jonathan Rose at 407-894-4555 or submit the “Tell Us What Happened” form on this page to get the immediate, informed protection you need.
What Are the Potential Penalties If I Am Convicted of a Pill Mill Criminal Offense?
If you are accused of operating or participating in a pill mill, you could be prosecuted by the federal or state government as well as face disciplinary action from the Florida Department of Health.
If you are prosecuted by the U.S. federal government, you will likely face charges related to the illegal distribution of a controlled substance governed by 21 U.S.C. 841 et seq, collectively known as the Controlled Substance Act (CSA). Federal law permits a duly licensed physician or pharmacist to distribute controlled substances but makes it a crime to do so “other than in the usual course of practice and for a legitimate medical purpose.”
If convicted in federal court you face a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment, a hefty fine, and/or seizure of your assets. If a patient dies after overdosing on medications you prescribed, you face a term of imprisonment of not less than 20 years and up to life in prison.
At the state level, the Florida Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act (FCDAPCA) makes it a crime to knowingly sell, purchase, manufacture, or deliver a controlled substance. Like its federal counterpart, the FCDAPCA provides an exception for a physician who “in good faith and in the course of his or her professional practice only, may prescribe, administer, dispense, mix, or otherwise prepare a controlled substance.” If you are convicted of participating in a pill mill in state court, you also face fines and possible asset seizure along with mandatory jail time.
The State of Florida uses a classification system modeled after the CSA to categorize controlled dangerous substances (CDS). Most possession charges are filed in state court; however, you can also be charged with trafficking drugs in state court. Like the federal court system, if convicted of trafficking drugs in state court, you may also face a mandatory minimum sentence of three years or more.
The good news is that the complex factual and legal issues typically involved in an alleged pill mill operation offer opportunities for a skilled Florida pill mill defense attorney to prevent charges from being filed against you or prevent a conviction if charges have already been filed. If you are notified that you are the target of a criminal pill mill investigation, or you otherwise have reason to believe so, it is in your best interest to move swiftly to protect yourself during the investigation by retaining the services of an experienced defense attorney.
Can a Pill Mill Drug Charge Affect My Medical License?
Whether you are convicted or not, a pill mill drug charge can affect your future employment and career opportunities. Virtually any arrest can place your medical license in peril, but a drug-related charge can initiate a Department of Health investigation that can result in anything from a private reprimand to suspension or revocation of your license to practice medicine.
If you are being investigated or have been charged with a pill mill drug offense, it is crucial that you:
- Get advice from an attorney experienced in both criminal defense and administrative matters with the Department of Health and the Board of Medicine,
- Do not report the arrest to the Board. You must report any conviction within thirty days, not an arrest.
- Do not speak with any law enforcement agents or investigators during an investigation without counsel from an attorney experienced in both criminal defense law and healthcare law.
The impact on your medical license from an arrest can be devastating, but in many cases, can be avoided by handling the investigation and any resulting charges effectively. Attorney Jonathan Rose has the experience and expertise you need to intervene early in an investigation or as soon as possible after charges have been filed and help prevent action being taken against your license.
Get Help from an Experienced Florida Pill Mill Drug Defense Attorney
If you have reason to believe that you are being investigated for operating or participating in a pill mill, or you have already been charged with a criminal drug offense related to a pill mill by the state or federal government, it’s absolutely necessary that you take steps to protect your reputation, your rights, and your freedom immediately. To do that, you need an experienced Florida defense attorney who is also skilled at defending medical licenses on your side as soon as possible.
Attorney Jonathan Rose is a federal defense attorney with significant experience defending physicians and other healthcare professionals against “pill mill” and related drug trafficking charges. He will put his knowledge of state and federal prosecutor’s strategies and years of experience in state and federal court and medical license defense to work in developing a strong, comprehensive defense strategy for all aspects of your case.
Attorney Jonathan Rose will fight to protect your rights, your freedom, and your future. Call 407-894-4555 or submit the “Tell Us What Happened” form this page to get the legal help and protection you need.