go scot-free

go 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 going scot-free. My younger sister caused endless trouble as a child, but because she was the baby of the house, she usually went scot-free.

go scot-free

 and get off scot-free
to go unpunished; to be acquitted of a crime. (This scot is an old word meaning "tax" or "tax burden.") The thief went scot-free. Jane cheated on the test and got caught, but she got off scot-free.

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, off
References in classic literature ?
If we could do that, she might go scot-free for aught I cared.
Her generosity had tried to screen them, but Newman's heart rose into his throat at the thought that they should go scot-free.
The justice chief also lamented President Rodrigo Duterte's comment that his head would replace Espinosa's or Lim's should the two go scot-free from their drug raps.
They argue that since the investigation system is flawed, no witness comes forward and due to lengthy and complicated legal procedures, the culprits ultimately go scot-free.
They hire topnotch lawyers and, as usually happens, they go scot-free even if they are guilty.
I am not too impressed with the NAB's self-praise in view of the fact that the institution had solutions like plea-bargain which allowed fraudsters to go scot-free by returning a small fraction of the looted wealth.
The Finance Ministry has also issued a strict instruction to all banks saying that no big fish should go scot-free and no honest borrower is harassed.
Karachi -- Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that his party and its government in Sindh will maintain 'Zero Tolerance' to crimes against women and girls asking the government to implement the policy so that tormentors of the women and girls don't go Scot-free.
An anti-terrorism court had convicted 31 out of 57 as it let the 26 go scot-free despite 'strong video evidence'.
If these traitors and psychopaths defaming the dignified Korean nation are allowed to go scot-free, the national reconciliation, unity and the building of a reunified powerful country will be delayed so much," the North's Democratic Front for the Reunification of Korea said in a statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency.
The chief justice remarked, 'our heads hang in shame due to the scandal,' adding that those bringing a bad name to Pakistan will not be allowed to go scot-free.
He demanded that rapists and killers of every innocent child should be brought to book and none of them should go scot-free.
The practice of shuffling them and letting them go scot-free must stop.
As demonstrated by the TLY, this can lead to a horrible outcome for the government, misery for the people and stoppage of daily life, while the perpetrators of the dharna go scot-free.
Law enforcement personnel do sometimes get hold of the errant drivers, but in most cases, they let them go scot-free after having their palms greased.