What Physicians Should Do About A DEA Search or Arrest Warrant
Wherever you are when something like this happens, keep these things in mind:
(1) Cooperate, or you will immediately be arrested, or threatened with arrest for interference or obstruction.
(2) Instruct family, if home, or staff, if at the office, to cooperate. This does not mean people are obligated to make statements or submit to interviews. It means that they should not do anything which in the view of the agents makes the agents’ jobs harder. That’s a sure way for more people to get in trouble.
(3) Do not attempt to conceal, destroy or alter anything. That could get you in additional hot water. Similarly, never instruct or authorize anyone else to behave this way.
(4) Do ask for access to a phone to call (a) your attorney, (b) your insurance carrier, and/or (c) your loved ones to tell them to contact a lawyer. The more calm and cool you are, the sooner agents are likely to permit you to contact someone outside the location.
(5) You are not obligated to make any kind of statement to agents or direct your staff to. The decision of whether to submit to an interview is an individual one. However, please note that whatever agents ask you or you staff or family will be designed to incriminate you. Remember, the agents know more than you do about the investigation, and they will never reveal all they know.
Agents asking you about a patient encounter with Mr. A last month will know that you never took his vitals before ordering a refill. Your random statement now about Mr. A, elicited from you under the worst of circumstances, will be used against you if it’s at all inconsistent with what the agents may have already seen on videotape. It is very rare for someone in legal trouble to help him or herself by talking with law enforcement during a raid. If they’re raiding your office or home, you are the target of a criminal probe, and it is your obligation to protect yourself, not make their job any easier or cave to their cajoling.