If the DEA registrant refuses to give informed consent to the DEA audit, the DEA must obtain an administrative inspection warrant from the U.S. Federal District Court. Unlike a search warrant, an administrative inspection warrant does not require the DEA to show probable cause. Rather, to obtain an administrative search warrant, the DEA is required to describe the nature and extent of the inspection and any items that they wish to seize. Courts routinely grant administrative search warrants.
If the DEA presents an administrative search warrant to conduct a DEA audit or inspection, the registrant must comply. Refusal to comply is grounds for arrest. If you receive a DEA administrative search warrant, you should contact our attorneys immediately. Our attorneys are experienced in handling DEA investigations and enforcement actions and can give you immediate advice to help protect you, your practice and your DEA registration.
There are several reasons why a registrant might refuse to give informed consent even though the DEA will likely obtain an administrative search warrant. First, the DEA conducts inspections without warning; and, second, the DEA registrant may wish to contact an attorney before the search or audit begins.
We strongly advise that registrants who receive an administrative subpoena or DEA Form 82 contact our lawyers immediately. We can help determine if a registrant should give informed consent for a DEA inspection. If the DEA presents an administrative search warrant and the DEA investigation is already underway, our attorneys can help ensure that the DEA does not exceed the scope of the warrant. Additionally, we can assist in identifying areas of concern and help present your practice in the best possible light before the DEA.