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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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omg!!!! des rich bi**** swear dey can get away wit nething. i dont like dat. dey get away cuz dey hav 3 things us normal dont hav--money, white skin & blonde hair, N RICH PARENTS DAT WILL DIE DEN C THEIR LOVELY CHILD GO 2 JAIL.

2989 days ago

Crystal Matask    

Sad what our country is teaching our youth...crimes does pay..if you have enough money..very sad

2989 days ago


This is such bull. Rich or not If you do the crime You should do the time like the rest of us . people are just people

2989 days ago


why bother to complain about this the rich has money we have thus for it is and always will be the rich can get away with murder. And god help the kids of that spears chick. she is a prime example of someone who shouls be sterilized so she can not reproduce. I,m sorry but driveing down a road no matter what kind it is
with a child in you. OH MY GOD can she be any stupider. you r supposed to protect childeren not put then in harms way. Anyways things will never change unless the white house or congress is flooded with leters and potitions that everyone being equal does the time if ya do the crime. PERIOD. but it'll never happen so i'll sit back in my chair pay my taxes and laugh at the sheer stupidity of the government and celebs. as normal the government and law enforcement fails uus and will continue to do so till their eyes are opened.

2989 days ago

Leslie Critter    

Who Cares? They are in the spot light because they are stars. These kind of things happen everyday. Find something else to do with your time instead of dwelling on this kind of stuff. Leave these people alone!

2989 days ago


The reason why celebrities are let go most of the time without any fine or jail time, is because our society treats celebrities as national icons, almost elevated to the level of gods. I could care less about celebrities because they cant even do their own jobs well, there are only a handful that are good at what they do, the rest just get media hype and create a big name for themselves, like Paris Hilton, who I believe is a waste of a human being in the first place. But what do you I know? Im just a lower middle class citizen making around 40K a year and actually work for a living vs. the celebrities that consider talking with an accent on screen for 5 months filming something as real work. Thats why america is percieved by others as a joke of a country, because we have no respect for our president but Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie can do no wrong.

2989 days ago


Come on. Paris Hilton's accidents were on camera and she knew it. Leaving the scene of accident charge requires an actual attempt to avoid being caught. She had already been "caught", and elected not to have her nose rubbed in the dirt. And the tape? What would YOU do if your face were on an unauthorized tape like that? The Pot offenses? I have worked in criminal justice for over 32 years, and it does gall me that users are now treated like "victims", while the supply they demand sends kids to prison for what has now become life sentences. But why should celebrities be treated different than the other "victims"?

2989 days ago

Tricia Ruiz    

Someone posted earlier "Only in America" I have news for you, it is EVERYWHERE, not just here. We just make a bigger deal out of it. SInce the begining of time itself the one the most, gets away with most. It is an unfortuante reality that will always remain the same. Face it, most of us would do it to, but since we can't , it is easier to point the finger. Get over it.

2989 days ago


Politicians, businessmen, Celebrities - All it takes is money to milk this system. And we are the shining light of democracy. Let us bring justice, T.V. style to the rest of the ignorant masses. Do you wonder why most of the world gags on our pompous and arrogant B*** S***?

2989 days ago

Chase Todd    

This is a rich mans world, didn't you know that? Hillary was/is right, this country is ran on the same aspect of the old plantation. The rich run it, and the middle class to poor are the slaves. As the rich get richer, the poor get prisoned for trying to have a decent life, and the middle class continue to get poorer. Wake up rich guys, when you break the middle class down, you will have nothing! No slaves to keep your sorry asses up, because without the mid class who will pay to see you in concert, or to see your ballgames, no one to watch you race car drivers run around a track at 200 mph wasting the gasoline that we slaves could have used in our cars instead of walking to work so we could buy a hat with your race car number on it, think about that the next time you get busted and can just pay your way out of it. Keep on America, make the rich richer, and at the same time break yourself and your class of people! Enough said!

2989 days ago

Deb Moyer    

.In America there is NO JUSTICE for anyone! It is those who follow the law that get Nailed, others can commit the crimes and get away with it all. Been there live it, Lost two Loved ones by the hands of others, one to Murder the other to road rage , vehicle manslaughter! All criminals walk free, sick AMERICA we live in. Murder someone simply hire a lawyer immediately for you will beat the system, run one over drunk road rage, hey just hire a lawyer and beat the system. Damn live in NY and you really have it made for the District Attorney here wants nothing to do with the Victims! AMERICA the home of the FREE. Sick America if you ask me!

2989 days ago


MONEY is the name of the game in todays world and who you know

2989 days ago

Jim Yock    

They should be prosecuted as we would.

2989 days ago



2989 days ago


This sucks, they are people too and should be following the same laws that every other citizen does. Because their job is in enterntaining does not make them special just richer that us. Also they don't even have to worry about CORI or any of that bullshit they are still going to have jobs. In some states these minor misdemeanors would keep them from getting jobs and blackball them through their whole lives. it must be nice to be special!!!!!

2989 days ago
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