Drug charges and pharmacists: how to protect licenses from suspension

On Behalf of | Sep 7, 2020 | Professional License Issues |

Criminal charges, particularly drug charges can endanger a pharmacist’s license. When facing criminal charges, a pharmacist must report to the Board of Pharmacy.

Without a defense, drug charges can lead to license suspension.

License suspension reasons

The Pennsylvania Board of Pharmacy has the right to revoke a pharmacist’s license, refuse to grant a license if he or she commits a crime. All pharmacists must report any criminal proceedings or sanctions within 30 days of a conviction.

This includes:

  • Admissions of guilt
  • Probation with no verdict
  • Disposition instead of a trial
  • Accelerated rehabilitative disposition
  • Plea of nolo contendere

The board may suspend a licensee temporarily. If they choose to do this, the licensee must attend a hearing within 30 days. During this preliminary hearing, the pharmacist may attend with legal representation, inspect evidence, call witnesses and cross-examine any witnesses.

Common drug charge defenses

According to FindLaw, procedural errors and lack of evidence can be an affirmative defense. The Fourth Amendment prohibits unlawful search and seizure. While an officer can seize drugs that are in plain view, he or she cannot conduct a search without permission. For instance, if an officer conducts a traffic stop and searches through the glove box without permission, then he or she cannot use the drugs as evidence.

Sometimes, a person will face drug charges for drugs that do not belong to him or her. For instance, if a person is in a vehicle and one of the passengers tries to hide drugs in the car without the driver’s knowledge, the driver can argue that he or she had nothing to do with the drugs.