Federal crimes are very serious. They are investigated, prosecuted and sentenced in the federal court system. Within that system, those accused face serious punishments. While people have many of the same protections in federal court as they do in state court, the federal court has vast resources in which it can investigate and prosecute federal crimes.
Recently an Illinois doctor has been accused of federal crimes. In August 2013, state officials raided his office and arrested the doctor. However, recently the decision has been made for federal authorities to prosecute this case. Therefore, the state charges have been dropped and federal charges have been announced.
According to federal authorities, the 62-year-old doctor was illegally giving patients prescription painkillers. Specifically, the doctor is accused of unnecessarily giving three patients alprazolam and oxycodone at least 17 times. If the doctor is found guilty, he could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison for each count and up to a $1 million fine on each count.
The doctor has pleaded not-guilty to the charges and has been released on $10,000 cash bond. He is due in court at the end of December.
It is not uncommon for the federal government to decide to prosecute a case after the state has already brought charges. This is especially common in drug cases. However, in these case, people need to make sure to protect their rights from being violated. Just because the case is being transferred from one court to another, does not mean that people lose their rights. With the right help, people can successfully navigate the federal court to get the best possible outcome.
By Robert Kerr
Source: Belleville News-Democrat, “Illinois doctor’s drug case moved to federal court,” Nov. 9, 2013