Healthcare fraud is a growing concern in this nation, and rightly so. At the same time, doctors may be subject to accusations of fraud – and ultimately search warrants and other legal action – when clerical errors or other innocent mistakes are made. When facing charges of this nature, it is critical to hire an experienced healthcare fraud attorney.
In 2012, the New York Times reported that, “President Obama and health insurance executives plan to announce a new joint effort on Thursday to crack down on health care fraud by sharing and comparing claims data.”
Overview of a Search Warrant When Accused of Healthcare Fraud
When there is suspicion of healthcare fraud, a search warrant may be issued by a judge. This allows law enforcement to look for relevant information that may be found in a doctor’s office and sometimes his/her home.
However, there may be circumstances in which the search and seizure was unreasonable; for instance, taking personal items or documents that have nothing to do with the charges of healthcare fraud.
Another issue that could arise is whether there was probable cause for a search warrant to be issued. Even after items have been taken, this could be challenged later through legal processes. However, this can be very subjective and would depend on what led to the issuance of the warrant.
Examples where it could be contested is when the affidavit (written statement that provides information about the reason for seeking a search warrant) isn’t detailed enough. Or the information provided isn’t reliable, such as coming from someone who has no personal knowledge or connection to the activity.
And, of course, searching without a warrant and probable cause can also invalidate a search and seizure. Although it’s important to comply with law enforcement, there is still the right to remain silent.
Seeking Legal Counsel When a Search Warrant Has Been Issued
Although not much can be done at the time a search warrant is shown, those accused of healthcare fraud can speak to an attorney about the legality of the search and the next steps. The original request (affidavit) must have been based on reliable information.
At the same time, when facing these types of charges, there are other issues to be concerned with such as the doctor losing his/her license or facing stiff penalties such as jail time for committing fraud. Contact The Law Offices of Robert David Malove if accused of fraud and especially if a search warrant was issued. A lawyer can go over what can be done to protect one’s rights.