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North Carolina couple allegedly involved in drug ring

According to authorities, a doctor and his wife are facing charges for their alleged involvement in a large-scale prescription drug ring. Eight people, including the physician and his wife, were indicted by a grand jury in July. The doctor and his wife are charged with Level Three drug trafficking and will face mandatory prison time if they are convicted.

Police say the pair obtained 25,000 prescription painkillers to feed their addictions by convincing staff and teachers from several area schools to help them. The physician reportedly wrote prescriptions in the names of the teachers and staff members. Allegedly, these individuals would pick up the prescriptions and then give them to the doctor's wife. The wife, who was a teacher at one of the schools, would reportedly exchange information on school property. According to authorities, no prescription drugs changed hands on school property.

The penalties for large-scale drug trafficking can be severe, including mandatory prison time, fines, a criminal record and probation. If the defendant is a professional, a conviction may mean the loss of his or her career or professional license. The first thing a criminal defense lawyer might do is review the state's evidence and the defendant's own testimony.

If the prosecution's evidence is weak or the lawyer discovers a problem with it, such as a lack of chain of evidence, he or she might file a motion to have the evidence suppressed. However, if the evidence is deemed admissible, the lawyer might suggest a plea bargain. The defendant might have to accept a conviction for lesser charges, but he or she would be able to avoid a trial.

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