One of the latest issues to hit the courts is the opiate addiction case. These types of cases are on the rise and no one is immune. We are seeing more highly educated professionals like doctors, nurses and dentists fall prey to this addiction. They are forced to seek legal advice or risk getting fired, losing their practices, licenses and risk going to jail.
Cases we've handled include the doctor or dentist who writes a prescription for a friend, who then takes it to get filled and gives it back to the doctor or dentist. We are seeing clients that are the friends or employees of the doctor or dentist and our seeking our advice because they have been taken advantage of by the professional. These clients don't realize that by doing a boss or friend a favor, they have committed a felony and are putting themselves at risk of going to jail.
We also represent the actual professionals (doctor, nurse or dentist) that seek our legal advice after they have gotten caught by the authorities. They unfortunately have become addicted to drugs that are so readily available to them given the nature of their work. Many start taking these drugs to control pain resulting from an injury. They are self-medicating themselves illegally, becoming addicted and allowing their lives to spin out of control. Not only do they hurt themselves and their practices, but they hurt their families, friends and coworkers.
It is our first line of representation to take a cooperative approach when defending these types of cases. Some lawyers play hard ball which in the end, can get their client indicted on higher level felony charges, lose their licenses and even wind up in prison. We found success in cooperating with the authorities and investigators from the very beginning of the case. This allows us to reach reasonable resolutions like Diversion or Intervention in Lieu of Conviction which are both deferred prosecution agreements. If successfully completed, the case gets dismissed.
These opiate addiction cases are serious cases with serious consequences that affect even the most well to do individuals in the most affluent communities. The potential charges are felonies such as drug trafficking or deception to obtain, both of which carry potential prison terms. .