get off scot-free

get off scot-free

To escape punishment for a crime or wrongdoing; to be acquitted of charges for a crime. Mark's wealthy senator uncle influenced the jury, and he ended up getting off scot-free. My younger sister caused endless trouble as a child, but because she was the baby of the house, she usually got off scot-free.
See also: get, off

get off/go ˌscot-ˈfree

(informal) escape from a situation without receiving the punishment you deserve: It seemed so unfair that she was punished while the others got off scot-free!This idiom comes from the old English word sceot, meaning a ‘tax’. People were scot-free if they didn’t have to pay the tax.
See also: get, go, off
References in periodicals archive ?
William Schulz, executive director of Amnesty International USA, added, "If the United States permits the architects of torture policy to get off scot-free, then other nations will be compelled" to take action.
As in any professional endeavor, there are downsides to being an antifraud expert: Cutler is disappointed that many corporations still don't want to admit they have fraud problems, Lindquist tires of constant travel and Golden feels frustration when fraudsters get off scot-free.
But while O'Neill might be delighted with Soderberg's decision, the Irishman does not get off scot-free as Johan Mjallby will play.
And there should be some mechanism so that the improverished criminal who comes into money later doesn't get off scot-free.
Labour's transport spokeswoman Roisin Shortall said: "It took three years for the number of offences covered to move beyond three, while the system has been dogged by legal challenges and loopholes allowing offending motorists to get off scot-free.
While some parents undoubtedly use Head Start as an opportunity to watch more television, few get off scot-free.