One of Netflix’s new British imports, Sick Note, is big on laughs and huge on criminal culpability. It’s bad enough to pretend to have cancer, but as the show wears on, Daniel and Dr. Glennis continue to commit more and more crimes to cover up those that they already have done. Needless to say, they’d be in some seriously big trouble if they ended up getting caught. While the show takes place in the UK, here’s what would happen if it occurred in California according to Vista criminal lawyer Peter M. Liss.
Be warned: there are plenty of spoilers ahead from both seasons one and two.
Crimes Related to Lying
Not every lie is a crime, but when you lie to police, lie for financial gain or lie about administering certain medical treatments, it is. From the second episode on, Daniel and Dr. Glennis lie profusely to the police, particularly Officer Hayward. While you can refuse to talk to the police, lying to the police is a misdemeanor, and when it slows the investigation of a crime (which the boy’s behavior certainly does), it can also be charged as obstruction of justice, which can be a misdemeanor.
Daniel’s lies about having cancer could also be considered fraud. Obviously he wouldn’t be committing a crime when he first told everyone he had cancer and he actually believed it to be true. But he did commit fraud when he purposefully hid the truth about his misdiagnosis and then agreed to serve as the spokesperson for We Care, using his non-existent condition to promote the company for his own financial gain.
By helping Daniel hide the truth, Dr. Glennis commits medical fraud by falsely administering treatments. Even if the doctor’s ultimate end goal isn’t to earn extra money but to simply hide his incompetence, the fact is that he committed fraud either way.
Covering Up Ash’s Death
Daniel didn’t kill Ash and Vista criminal attorneys say that it’s possible that forensic evidence could have actually helped him prove his case or at least create enough reasonable doubt to prevent a conviction if he called the police after Ash fell. But his attempt to cover up Ash’s accident and make it look like a hit and run, with the help of Dr. Glennis is most certainly a crime. In fact, while their actions didn’t result in Ash’s death directly, the fact that he wouldn’t have died if he was not in the hospital could leave them facing manslaughter charges. Any chance Daniel had of creating reasonable doubt would probably disappeared when the prosecution showed what happened after the accident, so he would likely still be charged with and possibly even convicted of murder.
Dr. Glennis wouldn’t be much better off, given that he most certainly aided and abetted Daniel’s actions and committed the hit and run that actually left Ash in the hospital. With everything the two did to hide what happened to Ash, the two could easily spend the next few decades in prison, if not longer.
Sure Dr. Glennis and Daniel ended up selling fake cancer drugs to Shank, but it turns out that in California at least, that’s just as serious as selling real drugs. This is one reason why it is always so important to speak with a Vista drug lawyer before talking to the police -it can be easy to incriminate yourself when trying to defend yourself. In fact, in a case like this, trying to defend yourself by saying that you were only selling fake cancer medicines to a drug dealer could not only leave you accidentally confessing to the crime, but could also make your sentencing and trial worse when the judge and jury believe you put people’s lives at risk as they sought out life-saving drugs on the black market.
Shows like Sick Note can be a funny distraction when you begin going down the road if what if everything that could possibly go wrong in a given situation did go wrong, but in real life, it’s important to try to put the breaks on things before you destroy your whole life. If you find yourself in a similar landslide of bad choices, a Vista defense lawyer like Peter Liss can help. Please call (760) 643-4050 to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your situation.
Creative Commons Image by Phil and Pam Gradwell