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Rush Limbaugh Takes Deal on Prescription Fraud Charges

The Palm Beach Sheriff's office announced today that Rush Limbaugh turned himself in on an arrest warrant for prescription fraud charges connected to the doctor-shopping charges. He was there for an hour and posted a $3,000.00 bond.

Talk about cops milking arrests for publicity....The case is settled. Limbaugh is getting a deferrred prosecution. The charges will be dismissed in 18 months. That's even better than a deferred judgment which requires a guilty plea.

The State Attorney has filed a single charge of doctor shopping with the Court. The charge is being held in abeyance under the terms of an agreement between the State and Mr. Limbaugh. Mr. Limbaugh has filed a plea of "Not Guilty" with the Court.

They should have let him surrender on a summons. The only reason they insisted Rush turn himself in on the arrest warrant and get booked was to shame him. Shame on them.

Great job by TalkLeft pal and Miami uber-defense lawyer Roy Black. Getting a deferred prosecution was a major coup. From Roy's press release:

"I am pleased to announce that the State Attorney's Office and Mr. Limbaugh have reached an agreement whereby a single count charge of doctor shopping filed today by the State Attorney will be dismissed in 18 months. As a primary condition of the dismissal, Mr. Limbaugh must continue to seek treatment from the doctor he has seen for the past two and one half years. This is the same doctor under whose care Mr. Limbaugh has remained free of his addiction without relapse.

"Mr. Limbaugh and I have maintained from the start that there was no doctor shopping, and we continue to hold this position. Accordingly, we filed today with the Court a plea of 'Not Guilty' to the charge filed by the State.

"As part of this agreement, Mr. Limbaugh also has agreed to make a $30,000 payment to the State of Florida to defray the public cost of the investigation. The agreement also provides that he must refrain from violating the law during this 18 months, must pay $30 per month for the cost of "supervision" and comply with other similar provisions of the agreement.

More terms of the deal:

The formal agreement between Mr. Limbaugh and the State Attorney will be filed with the Court on Monday. The terms of the agreement are substantively as follows:

  • Mr. Limbaugh will continue in treatment with the doctor he has seen for
    the past two and one half years.
  • After Mr. Limbaugh completes an additional 18 months of treatment, the
    State Attorney has agreed to drop the charge.
  • Mr. Limbaugh has agreed to make a $30,000 payment to the State of
    Florida to defray the public cost of the investigation.

Way to go, Roy.

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  • "They should have let him surrender on a summons. The only reason they insisted Rush turn himself in on the arrest warrant" Would you explain the difference? Also how common or rare is deferred prosecution? For my future knowledge, god forbid, how do you get the prosecutor to go one way or the other?

    Re: Rush Limbaugh Takes Deal on Prescription Frau (none / 0) (#2)
    by Patrick on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 04:12:28 PM EST
    This is one of the cases where they couldn't win no matter how they handled it.

    Re: Rush Limbaugh Takes Deal on Prescription Frau (none / 0) (#3)
    by Che's Lounge on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 04:14:06 PM EST
    Shame him. Because he publicly smeared so many. Payback's a bi*ch.

    Shame him. Because he publicly smeared so many. Payback's a bi*ch.
    Che, It is poetic justice but TL is right, for a deferred prosecution, they should have let him surrender on a summons.

    Deferred Prosecution is explained here (written by me).
    In a deferred prosecution, the proceedings in a criminal case are put off for a period of time, say one year, subject to certain conditions. The typical condition is that the defendant not be charged or convicted of other crimes during this period. At the end of the time period, if all conditions have been complied with, the charges are dismissed. No plea of guilty or judgment of conviction is entered. If the defendant fails to comply with the conditions of the deferred prosecution, the prosecution of the case would be reinstated and the defendant could either plead guilty or proceed to trial. When criminal charges are resolved by a deferred judgment as opposed to a deferred prosecution, the defendant must enter a plea of guilty. Again, the case is set over for a period of time subject to certain conditions, the primary one of which is that the defendant not be convicted of another crime. If the defendant abides by the conditions, at the end of the term, the guilty plea is considered withdrawn, and no judgment of conviction or sentence is entered. While the defendant is free to say he has never been convicted of the crime, the guilty plea could have possible future ramifications. For example, deferred judgments are counted in computing a defendant's criminal history score under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. In addition, if the defendant is found to have violated the terms of her deferred judgment, her guilty plea is binding and the court will proceed to sentencing, without a trial. In the deferred prosecution situation, the defendant would still have the right to a trial before being convicted and sentenced. Obviously, from a defense standpoint, a deferred prosecution is preferable to a deferred judgment. It is also far less frequently offered by the prosecutor.


    pretty disgusting.. republicans get away with everything they do.. doesn't matter, corruption, sex scandals, drugs.. whatever it is, they get off.. :(

    Che, It is poetic justice but TL is right, for a deferred prosecution, they should have let him surrender on a summons.
    Why? Certainly the situation of Limbaugh's surrender was part of the negotiated settlement; I'm thinking that Limbaugh gladly picked deferred prosecution and warrant for his arrest over deferred judgment and a summons.

    Shame him. Because he publicly smeared so many. Payback's a bi*ch. So it's okay with you for the authorities to go heavy handed with someone as long as their political speech goes against your sensibilities. Duly noted. So much for the first amendment being respected....

    Re: Rush Limbaugh Takes Deal on Prescription Frau (none / 0) (#9)
    by Joe Bob on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 06:30:50 PM EST
    A 'settlement agreement' and $30,000 payment to the State of Florida to defray the public cost of the investigation make this all sound so much more genteel than it is: a plea bargain and a fine.

    Re: Rush Limbaugh Takes Deal on Prescription Frau (none / 0) (#10)
    by lilybart on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 06:47:39 PM EST
    I don't think any drug is a CRIME for anyone, unless you force someone to take it. So I don't think anyone, even (UGH) Rush should go to jail or have any punishment. That said, we do not live under a libertarian system and he got special treatment. He is a horror show of a person who called those who smoke pot maggot-infested hippies or something, and he deserves far more than the SHAME of being allowed to plead NOT-guilty.

    Re: Rush Limbaugh Takes Deal on Prescription Frau (none / 0) (#11)
    by DonS on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 06:51:46 PM EST
    I wonder if prescribed painkillers are part of the assumption in this deferred deal. Regardless, random urine drug screens should be part of the process. I would relish being the treatment professional who gets to kick Rush's inflated butt around for 18 months. Realistically, he's getting off easy. Although I am both a lawyer and an addiction treatment professional, I have little sympathy for Rush, compared to the treatment the average addict gets before the court. I understand Jeralyn reflexively cheering for the defense but, you know, there are some situations, where just getting someone off easy misses the larger point.

    Re: Rush Limbaugh Takes Deal on Prescription Frau (none / 0) (#12)
    by Sailor on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 06:52:29 PM EST
    This is one of the cases where they couldn't win no matter how they handled it.
    So he got a break because he's famous!? In my neighborhood, he'd have been busted for weight, (no pun intended), and done hard time. The rich really are different, they have the money to hire lawyers who can game the system. He's an addict, who Dr shopped, had more syn heroin buys than any dealer I ever knew, and he walked. So what if it was a perp walk. And if he worked for anyone but the right wing media, he'd have been fired. F@#! rush, he said addicts should be given the max, then he should walk the talk. Sorry TL, but he gives no quarter, he shouldn't expect any.

    Re: Rush Limbaugh Takes Deal on Prescription Frau (none / 0) (#13)
    by Dadler on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 07:35:48 PM EST
    Let Rush take all the pills he wants. He'll be gone faster that way. Another positive aspect of legalization.

    Re: Rush Limbaugh Takes Deal on Prescription Frau (none / 0) (#14)
    by svolich on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 07:36:19 PM EST
    Does anyone remember how much time Aaron Sorkin did?

    So much for the first amendment being respected.... What's that got to do with drug abuse?

    Re: Rush Limbaugh Takes Deal on Prescription Frau (none / 0) (#16)
    by Sailor on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 07:49:09 PM EST
    Does anyone remember how much time the alcoholic, cocaine addicted, military deserter, bush did? Or how much time his drunken wife did after killing a man!? Ya wanna play strawmen, bring it on!

    Re: Rush Limbaugh Takes Deal on Prescription Frau (none / 0) (#17)
    by Sailor on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 08:10:35 PM EST
    charlie, I agree with you in principle, but rush should be hoist on his own retard.

    Re: Rush Limbaugh Takes Deal on Prescription Frau (none / 0) (#18)
    by Joe Bob on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 08:11:28 PM EST
    Hmm, now that I think of it, how much time did John McCain's wife do for forging prescriptions for painkillers? And did Noelle Bush ever do any time?

    Re: Rush Limbaugh Takes Deal on Prescription Frau (none / 0) (#19)
    by jondee on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 08:34:31 PM EST
    Those anal cysts must've really been flaring up again.

    It's true that Rush got a sweetheart deal that wouldn't be available to an unknown defendant with limited funds. And it's almost certainly true that he was forced to present himself for the booking process to shame him. While I dislike seeing prosecutors behave this way, I find a certain poetic justice in the fact that Rush was forced to submit to booking photo on a drug-related charge. It ain't justice, but it ain't bad.

    Re: Rush Limbaugh Takes Deal on Prescription Frau (none / 0) (#21)
    by jondee on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 08:52:10 PM EST
    This is the same oversized pustule with a mouth that called Jerry Garcia a burned out druggie the day after he died. A real class act. He should be doing a year of community service in a halfway house in the hood minus his entourage of supply-side catamites. Duly note this.

    Re: Rush Limbaugh Takes Deal on Prescription Frau (none / 0) (#22)
    by pax on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 09:24:07 PM EST
    I nearly always agree with the opinions expressed on this site. Therefore, I hope that TL is simply saying that this was an excellent job by Black. An execellent job getting his client the absolute best deal under the circumstances. This appears to be a diversion type program. One doesn't enter a diversion program unless they are as guilty as all get out. Most diversion programs also include community service. Too bad Rush doesn't have to go to a soup kitchen once a week and see the havoc that all the programs he has enthusiastically advocated not getting funding has wrought. Yuppers, excellent lawyering for a very, very guilty client.

    Re: Rush Limbaugh Takes Deal on Prescription Frau (none / 0) (#23)
    by squeaky on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 09:26:09 PM EST
    Basically, he is not to be trusted. Period.

    Re: Rush Limbaugh Takes Deal on Prescription Frau (none / 0) (#24)
    by ltgesq on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 09:58:16 PM EST
    Bravo to Mr.Black. So what if he was arrested? He was still going to get booked in fingerprinted, mug shoted and processed. The charges are filed, they sit there until he statisfies the terms of the deal, and then dismissed. If they had served him a summons, there is no way the case would have been set for a friday afternoon, and there would have been quite a few more members of the press present since they would have had more time to get there. Given the choice between walking my client into court for his hearing, then walking him downstairs (or where ever) for processing, i would much prefer to have him "arrested" at the police station. Then he is in and out as fast as posible. The 30k in costs and whatever his bond was would be meaningless to limbo.

    Re: Rush Limbaugh Takes Deal on Prescription Frau (none / 0) (#25)
    by ltgesq on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 09:58:54 PM EST
    Bravo to Mr.Black. So what if he was arrested? He was still going to get booked in fingerprinted, mug shoted and processed. The charges are filed, they sit there until he statisfies the terms of the deal, and then dismissed. If they had served him a summons, there is no way the case would have been set for a friday afternoon, and there would have been quite a few more members of the press present since they would have had more time to get there. Given the choice between walking my client into court for his hearing, then walking him downstairs (or where ever) for processing, i would much prefer to have him "arrested" at the police station. Then he is in and out as fast as posible. The 30k in costs and whatever his bond was would be meaningless to limbo.

    Re: Rush Limbaugh Takes Deal on Prescription Frau (none / 0) (#26)
    by jondee on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 10:01:36 PM EST
    Is that Rush Limbaugh Eats the World still floating around the net? That was hilarious dead-on political satire at its finest.

    Jondee, Un regalo por tĂș. so.

    Shame on who for what? Had Limbaugh been poor, cops would have arrested him in front of his family, charged him with possession (maybe even with intent), forging prescriptions, possession of paraphernalia and doctor shopping - of which the prosecution may have dropped the paraphernalia charge in exchange for a guilty plea, an active 18 month sentence, five years probation and surrender of his driver licence. And Limbaugh wouldn't ever be able to vote again and likely wouldn't be able to get good work anymore. Again, shame on who for what?

    South: Don't know where you practice law, everywhere I practice law, this is a deferred disposition case w/rehab & Rush did rehab. I hope Rush well with his continuing recovery, OxyC is a s****y drug from which to recover with many OxyC users becoming heroin addicts (at least in my experience) in the process of recovery. Roy did a great job for a client that half the country would love to see hanged. Roy got the system to treat Rush like any other American, which is a major accomplishment. I am not a fan of Rush's politiics & I am probably in that half of the nation that might wish him harm, but being loathed and getting equal justice is a rare thing. Fortunately for Rush the system worked this time. Now if we can only get the system to work all the time like it did for Roy & Rush. - k

    Re: Rush Limbaugh Takes Deal on Prescription Frau (none / 0) (#30)
    by Che's Lounge on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 06:54:59 AM EST
    Fortunately for Rush the system worked this time. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Fortunate? Yeah, to be rich and white!

    Re: Rush Limbaugh Takes Deal on Prescription Frau (none / 0) (#31)
    by jondee on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 07:07:39 AM EST
    Money talks and a big, bursting at the seams bag of b.s walks.

    Roy got the system to treat Rush like any other American Well, like any other rich white American with an extensive radio audience and close connections to the political party in power. Don't get me wrong; I think this is the best resolution for folks with addiction problems. Sadly, it's a resolution generally reserved only for folks who can afford Roy Black to represent them on minor drug-related charges.

    Re: Rush Limbaugh Takes Deal on Prescription Frau (none / 0) (#33)
    by jondee on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 01:01:22 PM EST
    Two thousand "pills" over six months? Thats giving Charlie Parker a run for his money. The difference being, of course, that Bird actually bequethed something to humanity.

    the evenhandedness of this blog, even regarding hypocrites such as rush, is really impressive and a model for us all.

    Charlie & Che: I have represented too many "little people" in Rush's position. Rush is just another pill-popping addict. One of the reasons the state of Florida wasted 30k on chasing him down was so that people would realize that presecription drug abuse is a problem. The state of Florida wouldn't have wasted 30k on a nobody. Do wealth & race infest our criminal justice system? Absolutely. Would a first time offender who was a prescription drug addict & who voluntarily went to rehab get a diversionary program in almost every county in the country? Absoutely & if you have seen a different result somewhere in this country I would love to know the details. What Roy Black did was to get the State of Florida to treat Rush like it would have treated him if they didn't waste 30k going after him & if Rush was a "little guy." - k

    Re: Rush Limbaugh Takes Deal on Prescription Frau (none / 0) (#36)
    by jondee on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 07:48:33 PM EST
    K - Im not buyin it. The "little guy" addict almost always has priors; in large part because they generally dont have the means and connections to smooth out the bumps and humps and skate for extended periods the way a guy like Rush does. I think your little guy is a bit of a strawman.

    Re: Rush Limbaugh Takes Deal on Prescription Frau (none / 0) (#37)
    by jondee on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 07:59:24 PM EST
    Also, if there isnt a charge for placing an employee in jeopardy and harms way by using the leverage of threatened termination of employment, there should be. I hope she takes him to the cleaners.

    Re: Rush Limbaugh Takes Deal on Prescription Frau (none / 0) (#38)
    by jondee on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 08:38:34 PM EST
    Still, its heartening to know that there are still some idealists left willing to stand firmly on principal and defend those amongst us least able to defend themselves.

    Re: Rush Limbaugh Takes Deal on Prescription Frau (none / 0) (#39)
    by DonS on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 05:44:15 AM EST
    All this talk about the "little guy" in relation to Rush is inapposite. Rush isn't going to use this episode to crusade for treatment for addicts or fair drug sentencing. He's going to continue to be the nazi gasbag he's always been. So, please, save the sympathy for where playing the good angel isn't going to earn a slap in the face. Unless you just enjoy getting slapped in the face.

    Re: Rush Limbaugh Takes Deal on Prescription Frau (none / 0) (#40)
    by Sailor on Wed May 03, 2006 at 06:23:53 PM EST
    Capt. Chamberlin said "We wanted him in and out as expediently as possible," Chamberlain said. "No different than any other celebrity booking."


    Re: Rush Limbaugh Takes Deal on Prescription Frau (none / 0) (#41)
    by jazzcattg1 on Tue Jun 27, 2006 at 05:31:02 AM EST
    Well this occurred in Florida, where Jeb Bush's daughter and his son have had some fairly serious run in's with the law covered up very nicely - per Arianna Huffington in 2002 "While Noelle Bush has been given every break in the book -- and then some -- her father has made it harder for others in her position to get the help they need by cutting the budgets of drug treatment and drug court programs in his state. He has also actively opposed a proposed ballot initiative that would send an estimated 10,000 non-violent drug offenders into treatment instead of jail."