It's been proven time and time again that laws don't always apply to celebrities; they're able to get away with more than the average person. It's definitely unfair, but that's the way it is, celebrities are held on a pedestal and some of them have even reached an untouchable status.
Crimes committed by celebrities don't always get punished. There are many reasons as to why that's the case, and whether we like it or not, money talks. Celebrities can afford to buy their way out of light cases, and pay legal fees that some of us wouldn't be able to afford in their shoes. Their fame also plays a huge part, since any case involving a celebrity will be covered by the media and followed by people.
You also have some crimes that were committed in previous decades when the laws in place were different or not as strict, but these crimes would definitely have been punishable offenses in today's age.
Some figures are so powerful that they are above the law, so their crimes get swept under the rug. Take Bill Cosby, for example, who went unpunished for decades and enjoyed freedom, as well as huge success despite his past conduct. In today's digital age, everyone has a voice that allows us to speak out when we see something wrong, which means celebrities' images aren't as protected anymore.
But if you have the slightest doubt that famous people can get away with crimes, stick around as we list 15 celebrities who should have gone to prison.
15 Paris Hilton
Paris Hilton has been in trouble with the law so many times that it's hard to decide where to start with her. In 2007, she was sentenced to 45 days in prison for violating probation following charges of reckless driving. She didn't even serve half of her sentence before being sent back home.
While she didn't completely get away with her crime that time, she would manage to do so a few years later. In 2010, Hilton was involved in a hit and run along with her boyfriend, which she somehow got away with. And just a couple of months later, she was found guilty for drug possession and obstructing an officer.
If Paris Hilton wasn't a celebrity, it's very likely that she would have spent a few years in prison for her misbehavior. But when you're famous and have all the money in the world, anything is possible.
14 Britney Spears
Britney Spears is another name who has been in trouble more than once and got off fairly easy every single time. The mid-2000s weren't so kind to her and her actions reflected that, from a bitter divorce to a mental breakdown. She went from America's favorite darling to one of its most controversial figures.
In 2006, she was caught driving while her 4-month-old son sat on her lap. You probably think that she was certainly charged for it as it's illegal to do so, but Britney wasn't even fined or questioned about it.
A year later, she was charged with a hit and run and driving without a license. Although she was looking at a one year sentence in prison, Britney didn't have to spend a single minute behind bars. That's not to mention her reckless behavior around her kids, as per ex-husband Kevin Federline. According to him, she was far from the ideal mother by constantly drinking around them and being very careless.
13 Mark Wahlberg
If you are a fan of Mark Wahlberg then this post might change your opinion on the actor. It's true that people grow with age and learn from their mistakes, but some are hard to overlook, especially when you feel that person managed to escape the proper consequences.
Such is the case with Wahlberg, who was a bully that got in plenty of trouble at such a young age. He committed two major crimes at 15 and 16, the first when he attacked two African-American children and threw rocks at them, while the second was he beat up a Vietnamese man with a wooden stick to the point he was completely knocked out on the floor.
Initially sentenced to two years in prison, he would only serve 45 days. Just a few years later, Wahlberg was back at it again in an unprovoked attack, where he severely injured the victim's jaw. Although he stated his past regrets since then, it's still ridiculous that he didn't serve years in prison.
12 Nicole Richie
Overcrowded prisons is a recurring theme in this article, and it only proves that celebrities are above the law, no matter how you try to convince yourself otherwise. In 2006, Nicole Richie was arrested for driving under the influence, which thankfully didn't end as badly as it could have since she was driving in the opposite direction.
Although she was initially sentenced to four days in prison, she would only spend 82 minutes behind bars, and you have probably already guessed the reason by now. Celebrities are protected to the extent that prisons get flooded with other criminals every single time they are serving a term.
That wasn't the only time she faced legal issues, as she had previously been arrested for DUI with a suspended license. They also found heroin in her car, but Nicole avoided jail time and faced three years of probation instead.
Believe it or not, Brandy's crime isn't being the sister of Ray J. In 2006, she was involved in a car accident that took the life of a mother and her kid, while injuring many others. Many have blamed the singer for the deadly car crash, and it was even reported by TMZ that she had admitted that it was her fault that caused the tragic accident.
Apparently, Brandy was slightly going over the speed limit while other cars had slowed down. If you were wondering, Brandy didn't spend a single minute in prison; in fact, she wasn't even charged at all.
She's been sued by several members of the family, as well as other people who were involved in the crash, but she settled all matters outside of the court by paying them hefty amounts. This case proves that celebrities can pretty much get away with anything, Brandy didn't even have to do community work!
10 Chris Brown
Remember when Chris Brown was still new on the scene and was admired by everyone? All that quickly changed overnight and it has only gotten worse for him since then. While he will go out of his way to blame everyone for his problems, and his fans will always come to his defense, Chris Brown has no one to blame but himself for his reckless behavior that has seen him become one of the most hated celebrities.
There have been many times where he should have gone to prison for crimes he committed, but he somehow managed to escape punishment. None worse than the 2009 case involving his ex-girlfriend Rihanna, when he flipped out following an argument and physically assaulted her.
Not only did he go on to enjoy plenty of success, but he didn't spend a single day in prison for the attack. Most people to this day believe that his punishment wasn't severe enough, and we certainly agree.
9 Khloe Kardashian
When your father is Robert Kardashian, you should be quite the expert in knowing how to get away with crime. For those who are unaware, Khloe's father served as O.J. Simpson's attorney during his 1995 murder trial.
Back in 2007, Khloe was arrested for driving under the influence and received a 30-day sentence. Unlike many names on this list, she did actually go to prison, but didn't really serve the entire term, lasting only three hours before being released. The reason for her release proves that celebrities are above the law, as authorities claimed that the prison was overcrowded.
Celebrities always seem able to escape punishment when it comes to DUIs, as opposed to regular people. It's quite ridiculous that Khloe's irresponsible actions went unpunished for such a silly reason, couldn't they have moved her to a different prison? It's a serious offense that not only endangers her life, but also other people who might have been on the road.
Tiny, also known as Tameka Harris, is best known as T.I.'s wife. Since the couple separated, you could say that her 15 minutes of fame are up and she's pretty much back to irrelevancy these days. For years, her name was continuously in the news since her husband was one of the most popular rappers in the world, which led to her having a decent career of her own.
In 2010, the couple finally got married following years of dating, and just a few months later, they were arrested for having plenty of illegal substances. There was marijuana smell coming out of their car, but that's not really the drug that should have probably seen Tiny behind bars.
Like so many other celebrities, she wasn't sentenced to prison and managed to go unpunished. If the roles were reversed with a regular person, you can bet that they would've paid the price.
7 Rebecca Gayheart
You may know Rebecca Gayheart from her modeling days, or in her many film appearances, and if not, you definitely know her due to her marriage to Eric Dane. What you may not know about Rebecca is her involvement in a fatal car crash that took the life of a nine-year-old boy.
Many put her at fault for the accident but she would go on to plead no contest to manslaughter. While she wasn't driving under the influence, the parents of the boy had accused her of not paying attention to the road. Other cars had stopped while the kid crossed the streets, but Rebecca went past them and hit him.
She was initially expected to serve one year in prison, but as it turned out, the law doesn't apply the same to celebrities as it does to us. Instead, she was given three years of probation, a fine and some community service.
6 Lindsay Lohan
You would be surprised to learn that Lindsay Lohan is only 31 years old, despite what seems like a different lifetime, when she was arguably the biggest name in Hollywood at such a young age. Since then, she has been in trouble with the law more times than you can count using both hands.
With many DUIs to her name in just a very short time, you would expect her to have been sentenced to jail. Well, she was eventually but only stayed there for 84 minutes before being released due to yet another overcrowded prison. History would repeat itself as Lindsay received another DUI and once again avoided jail time for that very same reason.
She was also arrested for possession of cocaine and driving with a suspended license. But it seems like luck is always on the side of famous people, as prisons only get overcrowded once they have to serve a term.
5 Kobe Bryant
There is no doubt that Kobe Bryant is an all-time great player. One of the most popular athletes in recent times, Kobe is living proof that when you're famous, people are more than willing to overlook all your faults. In 2003, Kobe Bryant was arrested for allegedly assaulting a woman in his hotel room.
He was immediately declared innocent by his fans – who cared very little about anything that doesn't involve them winning a championship — but the proof against him was significant. Although he admitted to having an intimate relationship with the woman, he would deny the assault charge to an extent while simultaneously admitting it: "Although I truly believe this encounter between us was consensual, I recognize now that she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did. After months of reviewing discovery, listening to her attorney, and even her testimony in person, I now understand how she feels that she did not consent to this encounter."
If you were wondering, Kobe didn't serve any time in prison and would go on to win 2 more titles while the case was simply put behind him.
4 Laura Bush
3 Jimmy Snuka
This is probably one of the most disturbing cases on this list, which only recently came to mainstream light. Jimmy Snuka was a famous wrestling legend and pioneer who influenced many WWE Superstars and is known even to non-wrestling fans. What wasn't known to most of them until just few years ago is that he murdered his girlfriend Nancy Argentino back in 1983.
Snuka wouldn't face any charges until 32 years later when he was 71 years old. Although he was set to face trial, the judge determined that he wasn't mentally fit to do so due to his health problems. Snuka would pass away a few days later and never had to face any sort of punishment for the crime he committed.
It's mind-blowing that he never stood trial in the years prior, and one must wonder if the same fate would have applied to a non-famous person.
2 Karl Malone
Karl Malone was a fantastic basketball player. He dominated the NBA for nearly two decades and finished as the second top scorer of all-time. With a career that most players would envy, his personal life has tainted his legacy no matter how highly you think of his play.
Most people know very little about him outside of the court, but the more you know, the less respect you will have for him. He's a deadbeat dad who completely neglected his kids, but that's not the worst of it all; Malone impregnated a 13-year-old when he was 20. Yet somehow he managed to escape doing prison time despite his involvement with a minor.
In fact, Malone hasn't even been questioned about it. We understand that it happened decades ago, but it's one of those disturbing things that's been wrongly swept under the rug for so many years.
1 Alec Baldwin
Over the years, Alec Baldwin has been in trouble several times, and it usually involves paparazzi. We can probably all agree that they're annoying and have absolutely no respect for privacy, but it doesn't give one the right to assault them. Baldwin has been involved in several cases where he was accused of physically attacking photographers, starting in 1995 when he reportedly punched one and broke their nose.
It was the first of many to come, even as recent as 2012, when he once again threw a tantrum and punched another photographer. He wasn't charged either time and if you read Baldwin's statements, you will see that the man clearly thinks he's above the law by the simple fact that he's famous.
When questioned by police, he was annoyed that they didn't know who he was, so that should tell you everything.