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DEA Voluntary Registration Surrenders

March 18, 2022 DEA Defense Lawyers

Voluntarily surrendering your DEA registration is an absurd thought. Many healthcare practitioners do exactly this, every year. Their voluntary surrender happens after a DEA inspection, or a raid by the DEA. The healthcare provider is scared, and fears additional consequences. Voluntarily surrendering your DEA registration can cause additional consequences. Healthcare professionals are told that if they voluntarily surrender your DEA registration – there will not be any other actions taken. Doing this – means surrendering your entire career!

Voluntary surrender of DEA registration can negatively impact you. The healthcare defense attorneys at Spodek Law Group can help you. We have over 50 years of combined experience, helping healthcare professionals. There are many reasons why voluntarily surrendering your DEA registration is a horrible idea. For example:

  • It can trigger state/medical/professional actions against you by the governing bodies
  • Likelihood you won’t be able to reapply for DEA registration in the future
  • The DEA adjudication process is very slow. If you refuse to surrender your registration, you can continue practicing while you await resolution

When can the registration be suspended, or revoked

There are situations where DEA registration can be suspended, if the following is proven:

  • False material on your registration application
  • Felony conviction related to controlled substances
  • Your state registration/license is suspended/revoked
  • You do something that is inconsistent with the public interest and its health/safety

Before your DEA registration is revoked, the registrant has to be given show cause order. This gives you a chance to explain why your registration shouldn’t be suspended or revoked. In emergency situations, its possible that the show cause order can be issued at the same time as the revocation/suspension/denial. Besides this, the registrant has 30 days to show cause order, and is granted a hearing. Voluntarily surrendering your DEA registration waives all rights to a hearing. It also means you have to reapply for DEA registration once all the proceedings are done. This can take years.

The DEA can revoke a registration for any of the following reasons:

  • The registrant has committed such acts as would render his registration under the act inconsistent with the public interest as determined under section 304 of the act.
  • The registrant has been convicted of a felony under any law of the United States or of any State relating to any substance defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act.
  • The registrant has willfully violated or neglected to comply with any provision of the act or any regulation issued pursuant thereto.
  • The registrant has had his State professional license or registration suspended, revoked, or denied by competent State authority and is no longer authorized by State law to engage in the medical treatment of human beings.
  • The registrant has had his registration suspended or revoked by Federal authority for cause.
  • The registrant has had an application for registration denied by the Administration.
  • The registrant has falsified any application filed for registration.
  • The registrant has been convicted of violating any Federal or State law related to any other controlled substance.

In other words, a medical professional can be removed from the DEA’s registration rolls for any of the above-listed reasons.

The DEA can also suspend a registration certificate. The DEA can suspend a registration certificate if it has a reasonable belief that the “public interest” requires such a suspension. The DEA can also suspend a registration certificate as a matter of administrative convenience.

The bottom line is this: A healthcare professional who has a DEA registration certificate — and who wants to keep that registration certificate — must avoid any of the above-listed conduct. When a healthcare professional is the subject of a DEA investigation, the healthcare professional’s best move is to obtain legal representation from an experienced and aggressive DEA lawyer.

The DEA lawyer will know what to do — and what not to do — to defend the healthcare professional.

The DEA lawyer will also know what to do — and what not to do — to mitigate any discipline that the DEA may seek to impose.

What happens if I go to a different state?

However, some states have reciprocal agreements that allow a practitioner with a suspended or revoked DEA license to also have his/her state license suspended or revoked, even if the state license was not surrendered. This can happen if the practitioner moves from one state to another and attempts to obtain a state license to practice in the new state.

In addition, although not every state has a law that specifically requires a practitioner to surrender his/her state license, some states have laws that make the voluntary surrender of the practitioner’s DEA registration a legal basis for the suspension or revocation of his/her state license. However, if the DEA and state authorities have some kind of agreement, the state authorities may simply suspend or revoke the practitioner’s state license as a matter of course.

If you have surrendered your DEA registration, or if your registration has been suspended or revoked, you may be facing disciplinary action by your state licensing board. As a result, you may be unable to practice, and you may be subject to severe penalties and sanction. It is important to have a competent and experienced healthcare licensing attorney who is familiar with the laws of your state to protect your interests and help you retain your state license.





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