The world of the Serenity/Firefly franchise may be set in a distant future, but Joss Whedon has said that the Alliance is based on a blend between modern China and modern America. That being said, the lack of censorship and revenge taken against those who fought for the Browncoats in the war leads San Diego criminal lawyer Peter M. Liss to surmise that the government’s law system is largely similar to America’s.
Assuming their laws are pretty much the same as California’s, the Serenity crew breaks quite a few rules, most notably in “Ariel,” where the gang breaks into the hospital to get free medical tests for River and to steal medical supplies to sell on the black market. So if the heist were set in modern times, just how much trouble would they be facing if they were caught? And what sentences would they face even with a skilled San Diego criminal attorney?
First off, the gang pretended to be paramedics in order to gain entry into the hospital, an act of fraud that would most likely be charged as a felony, on top of the felony crime of impersonating rescue personnel. This would also technically be burglary since the hospital presumably would not have granted them entry if they knew the true identities of the thieves.
After leaving River and Simon with Jayne, Mal and Zoe left to steal prescription drugs, which is a felony. The fact that the team stole them with the intent to sell the drugs would probably result in an additional felony charge.
While Simon was once a respected surgeon on the central planets, his criminal activities with his sister resulted in his being labeled as a fugitive, presumably along with the revocation of his medical license. The fact that he entered the hospital to use their expensive machines on River means that he was guilty of practicing medicine without a license, which can be a felony or misdemeanor in California. Given the other charges the doctor would be facing, the prosecution would almost certainly charge this crime as a felony, although a San Diego criminal attorney might be able to have them reduced to a misdemeanor.
Jayne reported Simon and River to the authorities hoping to pocket the reward money, but when he learns that the arresting officer intends to arrest him for aiding and abetting the fugitives (which would be a felony, since River and Simon are both wanted for felonies), he helps the siblings fight back. This would be considered assault and battery on an officer of the law, adding an additional felony on to the count for both Jayne and River.
In all, everyone directly involved in the heist would be facing at least four felony charges and everyone on the ship, even Shepard Book, could be charged with at least one count of aiding and abetting and most of the gang could also be charged with conspiracy. A top San Diego criminal defense lawyer like Peter Liss might be able to have some of the charges reduced, but even the good Shepard would probably be looking at a minimum of a few months in jail and Mal, Jayne and Zoe would likely be spending at least few years in prison.
Additionally, Simon and River would also end up facing federal charges for breaking River out of the government-operated institution. Assuming the Alliance court system is the same as ours, the pair would need someone as experienced as knowledgeable as the best San Diego defense attorney Peter Liss, particularly since, given the kind of experiments the government operated on River, the two could potentially even be charged with treason, punishable by death.
With all this in mind, remember that no matter how much you look up to the Serenity crew, you don’t really want to aim to misbehave or you may find yourself being chased by
Alliance US Government forces. If you do cross a few lines and get arrested though, San Diego criminal attorney Peter M. Liss can help you like no other power in the ‘verse.
Creative Commons Image by JetPack5