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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

No Avatar
31.

Rose L    

Who really believes everything they read ? It's all for entertainment anyway,and who cares what they get away with, it isn't hurting you or anyone else, get on with your life.

3059 days ago
32.

Mary Baptiste    

Don't forget when Halle Berry smashed (no pun intended) into another woman's car from behind one night and took off leaving the poor woman with a broken wrist. The cops didn't go to Ms. Hit and Run's House till the next morning, probably so there would be nothing left to breathaliyze. When the woman sued her,
Halle came out with some predictable self pitying whine about how SHE was being discriminated against.

3059 days ago
33.

Brian J Szymurski    

It's time for a f***ing war people. It's time for the poor and middle to rise up against these rich f***s. Every where they go they get preferential treatment. They get bags of stuff that we couln't afford one peice of....FOR F***IN FREE!!!!! They break every law they come across And never get a penalty. When at the same time our wonderful government can't wait for one of us to f*** up so they can throw the book at us. Do you realise that a celebrity can drive into another car and drive away, and not even get the incovenience of a conversation with a cop. But if one of us drives without a seatbelt it's a $100 fine!! THEY ACCUALLY MURDER PEOPLE, GET CAUGHT, TRIED IN A COURT OF LAW AND ARE FOUND INNOCENT!!!!!!!! This is out of hand. There are no more great countrys.

3059 days ago
34.

jackie chance    

Laws in this country, and the world are broken every day. In general unless an offense is of a capital nature you will only recieve a slap on the rist. Our prisons are full. I can't advicate strong punishment for any of these so called offenses. The rest of us seldom are plastered on the news nation wide when we are caught in the act. A lot of folks need to get a life. Our courts have seen that we as a jury will not come back with a guilty verdict in capital crimes. Why bother to prosicute misdomeaners? We judge people on a skin deep view. It is human nature to look over imperfections in those we admire.

3059 days ago
35.

J. Weber    

The United States was based on the "rule of law" where people were to be treated equally under the law. We are disgressing into a caste system where celebrity status (hollywood, sports figures etc...), wealth and power are given "priveleges" over the rest of society. Of course we deserve this form of government because we have set these people up as our gods and guides of what it means to be successful. This is how "American Idols" get treated, like gods and goddesses. Wake up people!

3059 days ago
36.

Maria    

Its all about the money! In our area a guy committed the exact same crime as Rush Limbaugh, 1st time offence and same amount of the drug and he got 37 years in jail where Rush recieved 6 mths rehab. I say do the crime be treated like everyone else.

3059 days ago
37.

Dewayne MacLeod    

I think they should get tougher sentences than
what an every day citizen would get, just for the
simple fact that they serve as role models for
our kids. Us poor people SHOULD get prison,
while Paris and Whitney, etc. get burned at the stake.

3059 days ago
38.

Tom Greco    

Money and fame talk, and those thadt have it walk

3059 days ago
39.

Stuart Scipione    

Who said if they were rappers they would get the full investigation? That's the biggest load I have ever heard. DMX should be in jail for a life sentence with all he has done, but he never serves more than a month or two. They get off because they have the money for leagal battles and the public support needed to make a trial not even worth the time. Not everything comes down to race.

3059 days ago
40.

Tom Greco    

Mpney and Fame talk, and those that have it walk.

3059 days ago
41.

John Gesselberty    

When society stops treating stars and athletes like gods walking among us, maybe the justice system will find it easier to treat them like the trash that many of them have become due to their status.

3059 days ago
42.

J'Wil    

Nothing goes Unseen by GOD. Money may buy you clothes, cars, drugs, and friends but, only "Righteousness" will get you to Heaven! Believe!!

3059 days ago
43.

Dave Mieras    

After viewing the video I would say there is no need for Paris to leave a note as everyone there clearly commented on the accident and a report can be assumed as everyone on the internet is a witness!!!!!!!!!!

3059 days ago
44.

Jody Sereno    

Paris Hilton is way over due to go to jail. Poor little rich girl should get a taste of what real life is all about. She should not be able to get away with the crap she does. It's amazing that money can buy her way out of anything.

3059 days ago
45.

Ray Gasiorowski    

Yes the main problem is these stars have the money & lime light to make the laws. Well that's what it appears to be. One law for them & one law for us, so to speak. The other problem is the general public just complain in silence as we do for everthing else. We pay them by going to see the movies they are in. Stop that source of income then things will change. Then these stars we put on a pedestall will value what they do more, in the public eye.
We the people have to make that change & only the majority can adjust the way laws are handed out when the " line" has been crossed.

3059 days ago
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