(PCM) Our legal system in the United States says that everyone is equal in the eyes of the law and if you do the crime, then you should pay the time. That is supposed to be the way it works, however, we have seen several cases, especially those involving celebrities, where the consequences they faced for committing, sometimes major crimes, the punishment has been far less severe that it would have been for any normal civilian.
Celebrities are often arrested and booked the same way as normal civilians, yet things seem to take a major change when these cases go to court and celebrities are sometimes only punished with a simple slap on the wrist such as community service, rehab, anger management or a significantly reduced jail sentence. The rest of us, if we were to commit a similar offense would be looking at the possibility of long jail sentences, huge fines, loss of our driving privileges and more. Definitely seems more than a little unfair if you ask us? But, hey, being a celebrity has its’ perks, right?
We took a look a several cases where various celebrities did the crime, but did not necessarily pay the time.
In the year of 2002, a sex tap surfaced that appeared to show R&B singer R. Kelly engaging in a sex act with a underage female. Kelly was charged with 14 counts of child pornography, however the jury did not find him guilty. His defense claimed that the girl was not identifiable in the video, despite the fact that several witnesses for the prosecution positively identified her.
In 1987, actor Matthew Broderick was vacationing in Ireland with his then girlfriend actress Jennifer Grey. He got into a car accident while driving a BMW that collided head-on with another vehicle killing a mother and daughter instantly. Broderick was first charged with dangerous driving and was possibly facing up to five years in prison. He ended up only being convicted of careless driving, a far lesser charge, and was required to only pay a $175 fine.
In 2014, Bieber was arrested in Miami Beach and charged with a DUI, resisting arrest and drag racing. He made a plea deal with the Florida prosecutors and ended up only having to donate to charity and take an anger management class. Bieber is a double offender, as he was also arrested in Canada in 2015 for assault and reckless driving. He was only fined $600 in this case and the assault charge was dropped.
In 1986, Motley Crue vocalist Vince Neil was driving drunk when he crashed his car into another vehicle which was carrying two people. The victims in the other car were left with critical injuries, including brain damage. Guess what Neil was sentenced with? Only a mere 30 days in jail!
In 2010, Lohan was arrested and charge with a probation violation and ordered to serve 90 days in jail. She ended up being released after only serving 14 days, due to what officials say was prison overcrowding. It is rumored that Lohan received preferential treatment while in jails such as the ability to have visitors after hours and order whatever she wanted eat. Sound more like a vacation to us!
In 1996, rapper Snoop Dogg and his bodyguard faced charges of first and second degree murder for the death of a rival gang member Philip Woldermariam that occurred back in 1993. It is said that Snoop’s bodyguard fired the shot and Snoop was driving the vehicle. Both Snoop and his bodyguard were eventually acquitted for the crime.
Hilton was arrested multiple times for crimes such as drug possession, a DUI, and leaving the scene of a accident. For many of these crimes she was never charged, however in 2010 she was eventually convicted of violating probation terms and sentenced to 45 days in jail, however she only ended up serving 8 days due once again to prison “overcrowding”.
Sheen received a probation sentence back in 2008 for a drug overdose, then he was arrested again on Christmas Day in 2009 for assaulting his then wife Denise Richards. Sheen’s lawyer had his previous charges dismissed and Sheen ended up only having to go to 30 days of rehab, 30 days of probation and attend an anger management program.
In 2001, actress Rebecca Gayhart was driving and hit and killed 9-year-old Jorge Jr. Cruz with her vehicle. Gayhart ended up pleading no contest to vehicular manslaughter and served no prison time. She did pay a $2,800 fine, however Cruz’s family did not feel this was a fair sentence for the death of their child, despite the fact that the incident was an accident and Gayhart was not found to be impaired at the time, however she did admit to being on her cellphone at the time.
Ty Warner (Beanie Babies founder)
Warner was charged with tax evasion for failing to pay an estimated $5.5 million in taxes. He is said to have hidden over $106 million in off-shore Swiss bank accounts. He was only ordered to serve two years probation and community service.
Former first lady, Laura Bush ran a stop sign when she was a teenager and hit and killed a 17-year old who was driving the other car. It was rumored that Bush was inebriated at the time of the accident and was driving recklessly, however no formal charges were ever filed.
Speaking of political figures involved in crimes. 36-year-old future senator Ted Kennedy drove his car off a bridge at Chappaquiddick Island. He was able to escape the car, but his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, died. Kennedy only admitted his involvement when the car was discovered by fishermen the next day. He got a two-month suspended sentence, and was only convicted of leaving the scene.
Jackson was charged with multiple counts of child molestation back in 2003. His trial went on for nearly two years with some very graphic details about his life and relationships with young boys playing out in front of the public eye. Jackson was eventually acquitted of all charges.
Norwood was involved in a fatal car crash in 2006 which claimed the life of a mother and daughter. Norwood was never arrested for vehicular manslaughter or formally charged with any crime, as authorities could not find enough evidence. The family of the victims ended up taking matters into their own hands and sued Norwood for $50 million and the case was settled out of court.
King has not only been involved with one murder, but two. The famous boxing promoter first killed someone in self-defense after he caught them breaking into one of his gambling houses. The second murder was a person who owed him $600. King proceeded to stomp the man to death, however he only served four years in jail for the crime.
In 2001 Winona Ryder was arrested for shoplifting thousands of dollars of merchandise from Saks Fifth Avenue department store in Beverly Hills, California. She was convicted of grand theft and vandalism. Her mild sentence only included three years probation, 480 hours community service and Rider was required to pay restitution fees to Saks Fifth Avenue department store.
In 2007, Kardashian was arrested on a DUI charge. She was sentenced to 30 days in jail, but ended up only serving about 3 hours before she was released.
In 1988, high on PCP, Brown busted into an insurance seminar taking place next to his office flailing a shotgun and demanding to know who used his private restroom. Only after locking his restroom did Brown flee the scene. Police chased Brown from Augusta to South Carolina and back to Georgia. Police eventually shot out Brown’s tires and he was sentenced to six years in prison. Three short years later, he was paroled in February of 1991.