A Practical Look at Breaking Bad

Posted by on Jun 26, 2018 in Criminal Defense | 0 comments

There was nothing quite like turning on the TV Sunday night to watch a new episode of Breaking Bad. For those who don’t know, Breaking Bad was a TV drama about how a high school chemistry teacher, Walter White, got caught up in the drug business. In the pilot episode, Walter White gets diagnosed with a serious form of cancer. To pay for the expensive medical bills, White resorts to producing crystal methamphetamine to make some quick cash.

Not only does he do this to pay the medical bills, but he does not think he will live much longer given the severity of his cancer, so he does not quite fully consider the criminal repercussions of his actions. Coincidentally, White’s brother-in-law, Hank Schrader, is the Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the local federal office of the Drug Enforcement Agency. One of the themes of the show is that Schrader is constantly on the lookout for an individual producing a particular strain of crystal methamphetamine. Little does he know that his individual, Walter White, was right under his nose the entire time.

Unfortunately, the show ended years ago. The series finale was excellent (I will not give any details – you will have to watch for yourselves.). You can watch the entire series on Netflix for those interested. I myself have gone back and watched the entire series multiple times. The last time I finished the series, I thought to myself, “what if Schrader caught Walter White? What would the criminal charges have looked like?” I came across an article that succinctly explained a range of different crimes that Walter White could have been charged with violating.

The most obvious charge White could have received would have been a charge for drug manufacturing and delivery. Certainly, this makes sense, as White was the “cook” for most methamphetamine operations in the Albuquerque, New Mexico region. In fact, at one point, White was clothed only in tighty whities producing methamphetamine in a used RV in the middle of the desert. According to the article I read, if White was charged with drug manufacturing, he could have received a life sentence in prison. That certainly would have made the show less interesting!

Of course, had White been caught, the show would have devolved into a Law and Order episode with attorney Saul Goodman leading the charge to acquit him. I’m not complaining, though, because Goodman is one of the most interesting characters on the entire show. In fact, he’s so interesting that he is now at the center of an ongoing television series called Better Call Saul that airs on AMC. Earlier seasons are up on Netflix, and I would highly recommend this show to anyone looking for a humorous show centered around the criminal justice system.

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