The judicial system is a vessel that breeds creativity. When the court threatens to take away large amounts of our money or, even worse, lock us up in some bullshit prison, the mind's gears get a-turnin'. And sometimes -- just sometimes -- people manage to come up with such over-the-top shenanigans that the law just throws its hands up and gives them a free pass.
We're not saying any of the below strategies will work for you. We're just saying they've worked at least once:
5 Dmitri Krioukov Uses the Power of Physics to Beat a Traffic Ticket
Keith Brofsky/Photodisc/Getty Images
There was only one thing Dmitri Krioukov hated more than traffic tickets: traffic tickets that gravely insulted the laws of physics.
Kim Steele/Photodisc/Getty Images
e.g. "Don't exceed 299,792,458 meters per second in a school zone."
Krioukov was given a ticket for failing to stop at the designated stop sign. Said ticket was issued by a police officer, who saw the misdemeanor take place because he was observing the area with his own police eyes in his police head. However, Krioukov wasn't about to let mere rock solid proof stand in his way. He took that shit to court, arguing that the officer in question mathematically could not have seen what he thought he saw. For proof, he whipped out a four-page academic paper he had written specifically for the judge.
It just so happened that Krioukov was a physicist at the University of California, and thus well versed in confusing the hell out of all living things. Using a shit-ton of mathematical jargon that may as well have been written in hieroglyphics, Krioukov's paper described how the officer who witnessed the supposed violation had gotten his linear speed confused with his angular speed, complete with helpful charts and diagrams.
This one was drawn by Krioukov's daughter, using Spirograph.
Of course, Krioukov's argument was a wonderful exercise in bullshit: He gleefully argued that his car had stopped when the officer wasn't looking, his vision clearly obstructed by another vehicle, and that Krioukov pushed down his brakes and restarted so hard, you could barely notice it. All of this was written with broken English and backed up with huge, complex equations and diagrams. The judge leafed through the paper, gloriously titled "The Proof of Innocence." Then, he looked at his massive to-do list, went, "Screw this, it's just a traffic ticket," and moved on to the next case.
And that, dear readers, is why school is cool.
4 Geraldine Richter's "That Time of the Month" Defense
Historically, menstruation (and its resulting mood changes) has always been a fairly sensitive subject -- even modern culture can only discuss it through the "that time of the month" euphemism. Over time, this term has come to encompass everything from legitimate PMS to menstrual pains to the goddamn bullshit Dr. Geraldine Richter pulled off.
Doctor bullshit. It's an advanced bullshit level.
In 1991, Dr. Richter -- a 42-year-old orthopedic surgeon -- managed to simultaneously overturn a possible drunk driving conviction and dropkick feminism through a brick wall. After a state trooper pulled her over for erratically driving home from a party, the doctor responded to the law enforcement official's enquiries by politely informing him that she hoped he would get shot, just so that she could refuse to treat him. Then she promptly tried to kick him in the nuts, much to the delight of all her children. Yeah, didn't we mention her car was loaded with kids? Because it totally was.
After the breathalyzer (which she also tried to kick, just in case) flagged her as drunk, it was a done deal: Off to the court she went, and a drunk driving verdict she received.
Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images
This, too, delighted the children. Kids just love excitement, in general.
Except that she didn't. Right from the get-go, Richter claimed that she only had four glasses of wine during the entire evening. Her lawyers argued that the reason she behaved like a lunatic was simply because it was, yes, "that time of month." According to them, being afflicted with premenstrual syndrome caused her to absorb alcohol more quickly than normal, inflating her breathalyzer results (and presumably also throwing her feet uncontrollably at the nearest set of balls, at the slightest provocation).
The judge, who found this routine drunk driving case suddenly overtaken by menstrual cycle flowcharts and PMS discussions, decided to believe the defense and acquit the good doctor.