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Celebrity Law Breakers -- Why They Get Off

6/15/2006 7:58 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Paris Hilton, Steve-O, Britney Spears, Jesse McCartney
Sometimes when celebs break the law, they're forced to face the music. But other times, well ... not so much. Some of our favorite stars have been caught recently, apparently bending the law -- on camera!!! -- yet they they seem to get off scot-free.

From underage drinking to alleged hit and run, here are some of the most intriguing recent incidents caught on tape!



Paris Hilton: Click to watch! Incident: Last week, Paris Hilton backs her Range Rover into a Honda Civic and appears to drive away without leaving a note. (Read the article: Driving While Paris)

Stakes:   In California, it's a crime to damage a parked car and drive off without leaving a note.  The misdemeanor is punishable by a maximum of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Disposition:  So far Paris is in the clear, but it's not over yet.  A source in the L.A. City Attorney's office tells TMZ that lawyers have been talking about what they can do, but so far no action has been taken.  Paris' rep, Elliot Mintz, told TMZ that Miss Hilton did indeed leave her contact information with a "parking attendant at the parking garage."

The owner of the Honda has not filed an accident report.

And you surely remember the infamous hit and run in Paris' Bentley last November with then-boyfriend, Stavros Niarchos, at the wheel.  No one was cited in that incident, either.

Paris Hilton: Click to watch!Incident:  In December 2004, Paris saw her sex tape, 'One Night in Paris,' on sale at a newsstand in West Hollywood, Calif. She decided to take a copy without paying -- and it was all caught on tape thanks to a security camera.

Stakes:  Petty theft. The first offense is punishable by a maximum of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Dispo:  Security tapes be damned! The L.A. County D.A. rejected the case, citing "a lack of sufficient evidence."  Huh?

Steve-O: Click to watch!Incident:
Steve-O, star of MTV's "Jackass" and "Wild Boys," flaunted what appeared to be a bag of pot in front our TMZ camera last November.

Stakes:  Possessing less than an ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor in California,  punishable by a maximum fine of  $100. Possession of more than an ounce of marijuana is punishable by up to six months in jail and a $500 fine.

Dispo:  Steve-0 was not cited and he can't be, because he left with the evidence.  Interestingly, a few weeks after the incident, Steve-O told TMZ, "I didn't want to get the LAPD in trouble. But it's like if you take me to jail right now, I don't give a f**k. I smoke weed."

After TMZ showed our video to the LAPD, the department initiated an "administrative investigation" to determine if officers acted properly.  Six months later, we're told the investigation is ongoing.  (Read the article: LAPD Internal Affairs Requests TMZ Exclusive Video)

Britney Spears, Jesse McCartney
Next:  Britney Spears and Jesse McCartney
328 COMMENTS

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1.

rhonda    

If they were hip-hop stars (mainly rappers) I am sure they would get the formal investigation each one of these offenders deserves.....go figure!

2997 days ago
2.

ANGELUS    

THEY GET OFF BECAUSE THE PAY OFF THE COPS AND JUDGES, DUHH.

2997 days ago
3.

Terry C.    

So what's new? We all know that American Justice is for sale. If you have enough money you are exempt from the laws that bind the rest of us.

2997 days ago
4.

joan    

Only in America!

2997 days ago
5.

Newcents    

They get in trouble and they are rich as hell and so damn popular. Money makes the world go 'round

2997 days ago
6.

helene    

I have noticed that or years and years the leniency is wrong they shouldhave eto pay the very same as any other citizen they should make this a lawl that all are treated equally normal people and movies and TV stars and I think the ones that break the law are twice as guilty because they know they should be held responsible and are getting away with uit ----- its really a big floor in our system some of these judges stink

2997 days ago
7.

Mary Ann Marino    

I've wondered this a lot lately. You read in the paper how Whitney Houston checked herself into a rehab, friends and family are 'worried' about her cocaine habit? Presumably everyone including the cops know she has drugs all over her home but nooone does a thing about it. Excuse me last time I checked possession of cocaine was punishable by prison but since it's Ms. Houston we're just 'worried" about her?

2997 days ago
8.

Desiree Luebke    

Only in America where society and the legal system is blinded by the bright lights of Hollywood. The list is long of stars who have broken the law and nothing has happened to them. And the scary part is they keep doing it. Example: Britney Spears. And guess what? She is having another baby. I weep for the future

2997 days ago
9.

Michael    

Maybe the punishment they don't get should be the same for all of us rather than spending taxpayers money prosecuting petty crimes. To spend all our money for the sake of media having something to publish is a waste.

2997 days ago
10.

Marie    

The rich get richer and the poor get prison...

2997 days ago
11.

Frank Bielanin    

Whats new. Special treatment to people with lots of money and power has been going on since the beginning of time. What is most important is how you will be jugded after you leave this world (which we all will someday ). Money will not be any use then.

2997 days ago
12.

Cindy    

Why should anyone be surprised by this? The Kennedy family has been getting away with far more for years. It is all about who has what, and not necessarily limited to the United States.

2997 days ago
13.

Arnold D.Mackey    

Nobody is above the Law;unless your a President of the United States! I think it would have been good for the Country if former Presidents Nixon and Clinton would have been put in prison. Ken Starr did a disservice to our Nation by not prosecuting Clinton for perjury.

2997 days ago
14.

McCracken    

For too many years, the poor go to jail and the rich get off. Celebrities are do not have constitutional protection like the Congress does. If you break the law, you should get more than a slap on the wrist. --- We should BOYCOTT these actresses and actors and models that set such a poor example for the American public.

2997 days ago
15.

Jeff Geiman    

It's a sick society when we idolize people because they can memorize lines and act for seconds at a time in front of a camera. If they screw it up they can do it over and over again until they get it right. Afforded the number of do overs most in the general public could do likewise if given the chance. In real life we don't get the number of chances that these ego maniacs get and are held more accountable for our actions. The only value these overpaid children provide is entertainment. If you take seriously anything else they say or do in public (which is to further serve their ego and public personna) you're looking in the wrong place....same applies to many sport figures and politicians as well. Have I missed anyone, oh yes the general public who slogs it out day in and day out trying to raise families and make a living, the real people who do make a real difference and add real value to our country and to each other. Sorry I lost control, my fingers just took off.

2997 days ago
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