The war on drugs has been raging across the U.S. for a number of decades now. The only difference is that the drugs receiving the most attention now and those accused of violating the state’s drug laws are different than they were in the 1980s and 90s. Today, the focus has significantly shifted away from street drugs and toward common painkillers, including opiates. Those who are accused of violating drug laws in Pennsylvania can be up against some serious potential penalties, which is why they need to consider how best to present their criminal defense.
Two Pittsburgh doctors are in this position now after being taken into custody on felony conspiracy charges related to the distribution of prescription painkillers. Reports indicate that the two doctors, who work in the radiology department at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital, wrote false prescriptions for hydrocodone to each other’s family and friends in exchange for cash and favors. According to the report, thousands of pills were given out to individuals who did not have a valid prescription.
These two medical professionals have already been suspended from their jobs, but that may be just the beginning of their hardship if they don’t put forth a strong criminal defense. If they are convicted of these felony conspiracy charges, they may wind up facing prison time as well as massive fines. Their medical licenses and reputations may be on the line, too.
Therefore, these individuals need to carefully think about how to protect themselves and their futures. This may include considering a plea bargain, but it may also require taking the matter to trial. Regardless of which route they choose, they can obtain competent legal advice. A criminal defense attorney will know how to spot prosecutorial weaknesses and how to accurately gage the chances of success at trial. Therefore, speaking with a qualified legal advocate can be a strong first step in building a strong defense.