Recently, Dr. Nelson Onaro was ready to accept criminal charges levied against him. He had been accused of illegally prescribing hundreds of fentanyl patches and opioid pills.
Because of how the law was written, Dr. Onaro had to concede that he was guilty. It was against the law to write a prescription that was not “medically justified.”
By that standard, Dr. Onaro had to admit that his prescriptions fell outside the rigid rules of medical justification. He was prepared to plead guilty and take a reduced sentence, likely serving up to three years in prison.
But then something happened. Just before his guilty plea finalized, Dr. Onaro changed his mind and decided to fight his allegations in court. A recent Supreme Court ruling changed the entire legal basis for the doctor’s case.
SCOTUS Illegal Prescription Ruling
On June 27, the Supreme Court raised the legal standard for illegal prescriptions. Prior to this ruling, doctors could face charges on a technicality. Simply prescribing too much or too little of something could land them in prison.
That law has changed. Prosecutors must now prove that a doctor did incorrectly prescribe medicine, and they must prove that the doctor was aware that they were doing so.
This change may appear slight to some, but it completely alters both the prosecution and defense’s case, and it gives Dr. Onaro hope. According to him, “Those medications were prescribed to help my patients, from my own point of view.”
Tulsa Attorney Uses New Ruling to Defend Client
Attorney Zach Enlow reacted to the news of this legal change in a recent CBS News interview. Of the original law, Attorney Enlow says, “Essentially, the doctors were handcuffed. Now they can take off their handcuffs. But it doesn’t mean they are going to win the fight.”
Mr. Enlow now plans to represent Dr. Onaro in a courtroom trial. The prosecution must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the doctor willingly prescribed this medicine to his patients’ detriment. Attorney Enlow is ready to refute this claim and help preserve his client’s innocence.
Our firm is here to help defend Tulsa residents from criminal allegations. For a free consultation, schedule time with us online or call us now at (918) 212-5359.