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Federal crime charges often follow clear signals

Some months ago, we wrote about an apparent shift in prosecution focus in Harris County regarding some alleged drug offenses. The highlight of that item was that the district attorney planned to make going after marijuana misdemeanors less of a priority. What, we asked, might take its place?

The ink isn't dry on that chapter yet. Regardless of how things play out, however, one thing is certain. The nature of any drug-related offense a person might face is such that mounting a solid defense should always be a priority. The charges will be serious. So will the consequences in the event of a conviction. Experience should be a factor when considering whom to enlist to help you.

Seeing the signs of potential trouble

You cannot always anticipate an arrest on drug charges. It might come as part of a traffic stop by local police. If federal authorities are involved, though, there could be indicators that something is in the works. As soon as the warning signs are spotted, consulting an attorney should follow quickly. In some cases, early intervention may lead to charges being dropped or minimized.

This comes to mind amid events in Sherman that are making headlines. Readers may be aware that federal authorities indicted a doctor last week on an array of charges related to his medical practice. These include allegations of conspiracy and intent to distribute controlled substances. He's also charged with health care fraud, aiding and abetting and money laundering. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges but remains in custody.

Authorities arrested this individual Tuesday, but there were signs of potential concern back in May. That's when Drug Enforcement agents executed search warrants on the doctor's offices in Sherman and in Paris. Officials say they seized records related to his prescription practices.

The issuing of search warrants is a clear sign that you are in the investigative cross hairs. It should also be the signal for you to consult a skilled attorney.

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