Not Such a Rush…
If I had to bet, I’d say that Roy Black is in a foul mood this morning. Nothing like cutting a sweet deal for a client and then having them screw it up within three months: it makes you look bad as an attorney because you’ve made representations about your client’s willingness to atone and move forward that…well, were pretty much full of hot air and crap; it pisses off the prosecutor, the judge and the probation officer, whose time has been wasted on the sweet deal that your client had no intention of following; and it sours your ability to negotiate further plea deals for other clients in the future, because your word is not really so bond-worthy any longer.
In short, whatever you thought your client might be capable of, he allegedly just pissed it all away for some drugs and a junket to the Carribbean. I used to get pissed at clients who went into the pool hall across from the Courthouse and ordered a drink (morons, there was always a cop in there waiting on a to go lunch order, ready to snag any wayward probationers) — I can only imagine the crabby day that Roy Black is having today.
Which leads us right back to Rush’s pee deal:
Rush Limbaugh must pass random drug tests for the next 18 months to satisfy an agreement filed Monday that will lead to dismissal of a prescription fraud charge if he stays out of trouble.
The conservative commentator also must continue treatment for his addiction and cannot own a gun, according to details of the deal made public Monday. And the agreement says he "will refrain from any violation of any law."
Just so we are clear, in every jurisdiction that I know of, getting your drug prescriptions in someone else’s name is not legal.
That goes double when you are on probation supervision: in order to accurately assess the urine samples, probation officers have to have on file a copy of every prescription — drug name, dosage, frequency, etc. — to send to the company that does the chemistry profiles and testing on the urine screen. If the person under supervision tries to circumvent that process by getting prescriptions in someone else’s name, well that doesn’t provide adequate information for purposes of assessment — and it’s a violation of the supervision requirements, let alone a whole new set of legal violations. (Unless, of course, Rush informed the probation office that he intended to break the law by having prescriptions written in someone else’s name. Which would be highly unlikely…)
Rush Limbaugh doesn’t learn. After all his trouble with his doctor shopping case, and his being under a deferred prosecution, he asks his doctors to put his viagra script in their name instead of his "for privacy purposes." Today he was detained at the Palm Beach Airport for three hours when a search of his luggage uncovered them.
For privacy? That sure worked out well, didn’t it. Now, instead of just a pharmacist learning he takes the drug, the whole world knows.
What will happen to him? The matter has been referred to prosecutors. Possessing drugs without a proper prescription can be a class two misdemeanor. It could revoke his deal.
It’s going to depend on how many different types of drugs he had that didn’t have a proper prescription. And it’s going to depend a lot on the type of prosecutor, judge and probation officer Rush is dealing with in Palm Beach County. But I can tell you from my perspective, that this sort of casual flouting of the law in our jurisdiction would certainly result in at least a month’s revocation of the probationary period — and a definite revocation of the deferred prosecution sweetheart deal.
If Rush couldn’t make it three months without violating the law and the terms and conditions of his probation, then there is no reason to suspect that he’ll make it the rest of the 18 months without either in-house substance abuse treatment at a program selected by the probation officer — to be paid for by the defendant out of pocket — or some other more harsh method of "attitude adjustment," like incarceration for a discrete period to get his attention.
You know, just like any other person on the planet would have to do. Guess we’ll see…
Oh, and the doctors who wrote out the scrips? They could be in some deep doo doo as well, depending on the regs in Florida. In a lot of jurisdictions, writing out scrips in your own name when you aren’t the one taking the drugs is a big, fat no no. Even for your client’s privacy purposes. Guess we’ll see on that one, too.