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'The Good Wife': Good Law? - Season 6, Episode 1

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By Brett Snider, Esq. on September 22, 2014 12:31 PM

"The Good Wife" is back, and so is our coverage. What does this new season have in store for our readers?

If the Sixth Season premiere, "The Line," is any indication, "The Good Wife" is going to start looking a lot more like "Law and Order" and less like "Scandal." Don't know what that means? Read our recap:

Episode Recap (Spoiler Alert!):

We open where "A Weird Year" left us, with Eli asking Alicia to run for State's Attorney. Luckily though, the episode takes a sharp turn away from the political drama to focus on the fact that Cary has been arrested for a serious drug charge.

The Good Wife: Good Law?

Season 6, Episode 1
"The Line"

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Cary quickly learns that being in jail as a suspect and not an attorney is rough. Alicia and Kalinda suss out that state prosecutors are really after Lemond Bishop, a former client and drug kingpin, and they're using Cary to get to him. Meantime, everyone scrambles to raise $1.3 million for Cary's bail while the young attorney languishes in the slammer.

Legal Roots:

Unless we missed something, this case wasn't a ripped-from-the-headlines episode, it's just the sort of thing that can happen. Cary's arrest may have seemed jarring, but the drawn guns and manhandling are pretty commonplace, especially when large amounts of narcotics are allegedly involved.

Legal Fiction:

Oh Alicia. Are you so dumb that you think turning $1.3 million in cash into a cashier's check was enough? Especially in big drug cases, prosecutors are highly suspicious about large bail amounts being paid in full -- and for good reason. If the money is found to be the instrument or fruit of a crime (i.e., drug dealing), then that bail can be forfeited and someone like Cary will probably be denied bail entirely.

Legal Fact:

Probably because it mirrored a police procedural, "The Line" was chock-full of legal facts. There were too many to mention in depth, so we picked out our favorites:

  • Cary doesn't have the right to hear his charges or call his attorney within a few hours of being arrested -- it can even be as long as an entire weekend.
  • Just about everything surrounding Peter's intern screams sexual harassment, the least of which is Eli's problem with her panties (or lack thereof).
  • Illinois has no private bail bondsmen, and the state even prevents bounty hunting bail bondsmen from finding those who made bail in other states and fled to Illinois.

Legal Babble:

Super X felony: Cary is charged with a "Super X" felony -- possession with intent to deliver 900 grams of heroin. "Super X" refers to the class of felony in Illinois. Possession with intent to deliver 15 to 100 grams is a Class X felony, punishable by six to 30 years in prison, while any greater drug charge is considered a "Super X" felony. Cary's charge carries a possible 15 to 60 years in prison if he's convicted.

The Verdict:

"The Line" was not only good TV but also great legal fodder. Cary's case might actually take up a good chunk of the season, and we're more than OK with that.

What did you think of this week's episode of "The Good Wife"? Is the show guilty of making any legal mistakes? Check back here for more legal recaps of "The Good Wife," and send us a tweet at @FindLawConsumer with the hashtag #TheGoodWife.

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