Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Charges Against Dr. House. Is there a Trial In His Future?

Here,in conjunction with two practicing NY attorneys are the crimes House would be charged with under NY law. 

The Charges: From Least Severe to Most Severe
1. Attempted Vehicular assault- E felony 1 1/2 years to 4 years
2. Class A Misdemeanor: up to 1 yr  Leaving the scene of the accident
3. Reckless Endangerment- Class B misdemeanor Up to 3 months
4. Criminal Trespass: Class A misdemeanor- Up to a year
5. Criminal Mischief_ Class D felony 1 1/2 yrs- 4 yrs
6. Reckless endangerment of Property- B misdemeanor up to 3 months
7. Manslaughter B felony charged as a C felony because it is attempted. 3/ 1/2 yrs to 15 years.
8. Attempted Murder- 2nrd degree: A1 felony Becomes a B felony 5-25 years
-THIS is a PUBLIC CRIME. It no longer matters whether Cuddy or anyone else charges House with anything. The public must be protected under the law. 
-The police were called to the scene, they have notes on the crime,statements from those "involved" and are aware that Dr. House has fled the scene of the accident. This will be pursued through the courts.

-House did flee the scene of the accident.  If House's drug use (either the new “rat” drug or the vicodin usage) comes into play, this might increase the charges against Dr. House. I don't know if these will ever be seen as "mitigating" under these circumstances however but how else would House be allowed to practice medicine again and not serve extensive jail time? Either it's a "fantasy" or these fantasy courts will allow certain information in as mitigating. Fantasy Island Court is possible, as a House in jail for an extended period of time with no license- is not an option for this show.

-Does he escape the law? Is he “on the run” playing piano in a bar in Bora Bora or practicing medicine under another name? (yet another crime?). Has House morphed into “The Fugitive”? and where is the man with one arm? Does he have amnesia and can’t remember certain things? Is this one possible  reason for the time warp? (the lack of the Cuddy character being another obvious reason)Does he eventually turn himself in?

How do  we KNOW this is either in House's head or Legal Fantasy Land? Simple. Because in Real Life:
-House's license to practice would be revoked permanently. He would be a convicted felon. End of show OR is it possible House will be
pardoned? Maybe he's called in to work on a VIP and because of his good work is pardoned? Anything's possible in TV Land.

Or just a Fantasy?-The Writer's "Escape" Clause
We have all been privy to discussions about the “real” meaning of the last scene and voiced our opinions regarding whether that scene is “real” or some sort of dream/coma/hallucination. We can see both sides of this argument and it will be very interesting to see how the House writers solve this. The scene was indeed confusing.
-We are expected to believe that: House was in the same suit on the beach that he'd left the scene of the crime in?
-That after his “self surgery” he just upped and left the hospital and was fit enough to commit this crime and then just “walk away” to Paradise?
-Taub's ringtone of Rupert Holmes' "Escape (the Pina Colada Song)" foreshadowed House’s Paradise Journey, but  we need to ask if this is another “drug” trip  caused by the trial medication he self administered.
-Why if  the  the crash happened in the middle of the afternoon, do  the emergency vehicles arrive at night? Quite odd.
-For many, the last scenes simply “do not compute”. House seemed willing to harm everybody in the home and himself as well. Is “the brush” is playing the same sort of role as the lipstick did in "Both Sides Now"? Thinking about the brush, does this signify a “brushing away from from the past? A brush with death…a brush aside? These all make sense if this was a dream/coma/hallucination. It all plays like a fantasy/revenge scheme which is running through House’s Head. He could imagine a new boyfriend for Cuddy and breaking her house (like she broke him, House),when he's suddenly on a beach with all his troubles behind him-the song that's playing has great resonance and they pull away. Is he in a coma? Hallucinating?Dreaming?
-His doctor was Dr. Hourani, who was the doc he impersonated back in Two Stories (possible meaning: He’s his own doctor?)
Song playing was Spoon "Got Nuffin'" Lyrics: When I'm with you, all my brothers, oh "I feel like a king..It feels like I'm dreaming."
- Is Wilson's mentioning of all the Vicodin House took to be a clue to the audience that the end wasn't set in reality?
-How was House able to get out of the ICU and walk around on crutches?  How was he able to meet Cuddy in the cafeteria fully clothed? What was the timeline in this episode? 

Some other observations
-Could this be a "fever dream" from the previous episode? Is House still bleeding in the bathtub?
-Can this go back much further? Is this all a hallucination starting at "Bombshells."
-Is this  a dream under anesthesia because they have to remove a tumor from his brain.
Note: Every time we've been witness to a House dream or hallucination, House has been *in* the scene, either observing it ("Three Stories") or being part of it ("Locked In," "House's Head," "No Reason," the Amber arc-when she was dying). 
-How does he escape this crash without so much as a scratch?
Convincing arguments exist on both sides. 
Of course,many in the fandom hope the writers do not rely on the "dream/coma/hallucination/ solution but it’s tough to know which path they will follow. The concept of a House- fugitive from justice- appeals to me and then finding his way back home. Many want to see House face the consequences for his actions..if they are indeed 'real" as we've been given to understand by the writers/ Producers. Things can seem very real in a dream or hallucination though. 
If the ending turns out to have been real (and I'm not convinced it is), I do think, despite what I might have suggested, lots of ways for it to go in Season 8.Looking forward to the final journey as House enters what is probably it's final Season.
"You don't know which of my symptoms are real and which are fake" says the patient in this episode to Dr. House. We're in a similar situation.

Do you see a trial in House's future and what do you see him being charged with?

Please note that Domestic Violence is not one of the crimes we are charging Dr. House with and there may be other less included offenses he will be charged with.Also note that this is NY law not that of New Jersey.New Jersey law may differ.  


  1. Nice try; however, David Shore said over and over that this was NOT an hallucination. On top of which, over the summer, various writers of the show have tweeted, asking for ideas as to how to write the first couple of episodes of Season 8 and get House out of trouble. They've clearly painted themselves into a corner and have no clue how to get themselves out. Because, in the real world, House would lose his license permanently and do some serious jail time. Show's over.

    Sadly, Shore and Company were more interested in "shock value" than true character growth. The episode title "Moving On" was clearly a misnomer.

  2. Good work on the possible charges, but not DA is going to charge him with all of them. He'll definitely get hit with leaving the scene of a crime. Depending on what Wilson says (that it was an accident or intentional) he should be charged with another crime.

    However, it is not true that a felony conviction automatically results in the permanent pull of a doctor's license. I'm a lawyer and am friends with the Attorney General in California (which has the strictest laws in the USA) and whether we yank a license depends on: whether the criminal conduct implicated the practice of medicine, whether the conduct compromised patient care or endangered the patient, whether the conduct was isolated or was recurrent, and whether the physician was cooperative with the crimi­nal prosecution, will all come into play in considering a resolution of a professional medical misconduct prosecution based upon a felony conviction. (The above is true for NJ and New York too.)

    Obviously, he didn't cooperate and he has a past history of drug abuse, so yes, he's in trouble. I think the writers and producers really screwed this one up and we're all going to have to suspend our disbelief if House doesn't go to jail and lose his license for at least a period of time. I suspect he'll be asked to diagnose some important political person (maybe the President) and be pardoned.

  3. Thanks Kim. Yes, NY/NJ law will certainly differ with that of California's but he may very well be charged with all of the above.

    You're so right...he IS in big trouble.

  4. Anonymous:

    The purpose of this article was to show both sides of the most popular fan viewpoints regarding where we left off but MOSTLY to explain some of the charges we expect House will have to face.

    This is why THAT is the main part of the article.
    We are not certain that this is "real" but we proceeded as if it is based on the comments of the people who quote.

    Thanks so much for visiting! Hope to see you again.

  5. "I think the writers and producers really screwed this one up and we're all going to have to suspend our disbelief if House doesn't go to jail and lose his license for at least a period of time. I suspect he'll be asked to diagnose some important political person (maybe the President) and be pardoned. "

    I lobe this! Thanks, Kim

  6. There has to be some kind of prosecution against House after doing this. There are witnesses, lots of people involved and it was very serious what he did. I wonder how he will get out of this one.

  7. I think this will be hard to fix for the writers so I'm looking forward to see what they can come up with. I like the idea of him being pardoned because he have to treat someone important. Then again you have pointed out that there are some things that doesn't add up in the story though so I can't help but wonder if there's more to the story than we think.

  8. I hope there is more to the story than we think, particularly the fact that it was night by the time the police was at Cuddy's house..... Otherwise, informative article. Thanks :)

  9. Food for thought. Well done. I will be looking forward to watching their solution out of this corner they've have both been put in and placed themselves in. I liked the idea of a fugitive on the run and so I hope we get to see that at some point. I think that is a lost opportunity if they do not show that. Thank you for informative article

  10. Aizeak

    Gregory House is obvious that going to jail, is also a repeat offender has a record for the issue of vicodin with Tritter, but the judge acquitted him.

  11. There is no way Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital would take Dr. House back after a felony conviction involving assault against a colleague. We all know fiction is a lie, but it has to be a believable lie. This was way over the top.

  12. He's at least going to jail for driving into Cuddy's house and fleeing the scene.He deserves a couple of years for that incident. They should also add a couple of more years for illegally using vicodin pills and stealing rat medicine.