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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

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