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While working with controlled substances, you have specific legal obligations that include exercising appropriate measures to keep controlled substances out of the hands of those who might abuse them. If you violate those obligations, you may receive what’s called a show cause order from the Agency of Drug Enforcement. This article will discuss the specifics behind what a show cause order is, what it means for you and your practice or business and the options you have in the event you should receive one.
What Is a Show Cause Order?
When you receive a show cause order, it means you have violated the Effective Drug Enforcement Act in some way. Therefore, the order should be taken seriously, and prompt action must be taken because the order can jeopardize your ability to continue your practice or maintain business operations.
A show cause order is an official administrative proceeding from the United States Drug Enforcement Agency initiated to suspend an existing registration or revoke an application for a registration. By law, when you’re served with a show cause order, the DEA must provide legal grounds for revoking your application or registration and provide an opportunity to defend yourself in court in which you can plead your case before they can revoke your registration or application.
Usually, the Drug Enforcement Agency will serve you a show cause order if you:
What Can I Do In My Defense?
When you are served with a show cause order, you have certain rights that are designed to comply with your constitutional right of due process. These rights include:
Exceptions to the Rule
The only way that the DEA can immediately suspend your registration or application before a hearing takes place is if there’s a reasonable belief that allowing you to continue your practice or business would represent an imminent danger to public health or safety.
The Effective Drug Enforcement Act defines “imminent danger to public health or safety” as a risk of death, serious bodily harm or serious drug addiction as a result of either ineffective diversionary measures or a failure to maintain effective controls over who receives controlled substances. In such cases, the DEA will issue you an immediate suspension order along with the show cause order.
If such a determination is made, you will be forbidden from handling controlled substances until your case reaches a decision. This means that you will be legally unable to continue to prescribe controlled substances. The decision of the hearing judge is considered final, and appropriate action will be taken if it is deemed necessary.
Contact Us for a Consultation
The Spodek Law Group can represent you in your hearing. Our experienced attorneys have [x] years of experience in handling cases involving show cause orders. Due to the complexities of the law, we strongly suggest that you hire an experienced lawyer to assist you in your case. You may contact our office with any questions you may have or if you wish to schedule a consultation.