This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Disclaimer: The should not be taken as any form of legal counsel or guidance; there may be errors in interpretation of the law and there may be crimes and violations missing from this list. I am not an officer or an attorney; I am a movie fan with a blog.
It is a given that Batman operates outside the law to fight the corruption within Gotham, but have you ever wondered just how many times he breaks the law? I did so I watched Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy and tallied the kinds of charges that Bruce Wayne could face if the police ever caught him.
And if they ever did, the bottom of this list also includes the kind of time he could spend behind bars. Hint: He would need the resurrecting powers of a Lazarus Pit to serve it all.
(Caveat: Wayne's actions outside the United States were not counted against him.)
Criminal trespass • Wayne sneaks into the Gotham Police Department, ski mask and all.
Threat of violence • Wayne holds a stapler to the back of Sgt. Jim Gordon's head, giving the impression of a gun.
Failure to stop at the command of an officer • He keeps running from police headquarters after Gordon tells him to stop.
Ten counts of assault • Wayne, unprovoked, assaults Falcone and nine of his henchmen.
Ten counts of unlawful detention • Batman then ties them up.
Assault against an officer • After yanking Flass through the air, Wayne lets go of Flass and drops him to the ground.
Aggravated assault •Wayne forces one of Scarecrow's goons to pull the trigger on the gun in his hand, shooting a second goon in the foot.
Six counts of assault • He takes down the rest of the goons.
Two counts of possession of an explosive device • Wayne has at least two Bat-grenades on him…
Two counts of the use of an explosive device • … which he then uses on two doors.
Two counts of assault on a peace officer • Wayne drives the Tumbler over a police car that has two policemen inside.
Failure to respond to an officer's signal to stop • Wayne keeps on rolling when the police try to pull him over.
Reckless driving • Wayne willfully breaks more than three moving violations at least 11, in fact as he speeds home.
Four counts of criminal mischief • The Tumbler crashes through news stands, a pane glass window, the gate arm of a parking structure and into two parked cars.
Two counts of possession of an explosive device • There are at least two missiles in the Tumbler…
Two counts of the use of an explosive device • … which he uses to destroy part of the wall of the parking structure.
Five counts of criminal mischief • Wayne damages two roofs, a median, gates and a support pillar with the Tumbler.
Assault against a police officer • Wayne releases spike strips for the police car to run across and flip.
Four counts of possession of an explosive device • Wayne has at least four Bat-grenades in the Batcave.
Criminal mischief • Wayne crashes through a railing and wall with the Tumbler on his way to The Narrows.
Leaving the scene of an accident • Wayne keeps going after crashing into the railing and wall.
Two counts of criminal mischief • Wayne crashes through a window of the train and breaks the front console.
Six counts of possession of an explosive device • There are at least six missiles in the Tumbler, shown when Gordon uses them to destroy the train track.
Use of an explosive device • Wayne uses a Bat-grenade on the back of the train car.
Wayne famously takes to heart in "Batman Begins" that he is not defined by "who he is underneath," but by his actions. At a whopping 68 crimes (at least) in his earliest days as Batman, that is some sketchy defining.
If Wayne was tried and convicted on all counts and sentenced to consecutively serve the maximum amount of time, he would be behind bars for 331 years, plus five life sentences. The next time you see Batman running away from Gotham's finest, you will know just how badly he would not want to go to jail besides the obvious threat to his secret identity.
He could also be fined up to $302,500 for his charges. But for a billionaire like him, that might as well be the change Alfred Pennyworth finds when cleaning the couch.
Next Monday, the blog continues with the same analysis of "The Dark Knight." Feel free to wager whether he comes out cleaner in the sequel. After all, he was reckless in "Begins," and frankly, not always very Batman-like. Real talk: He blew up a building full of people; that is the Joker's gig, Wayne.
Think this list is incomplete or that Wayne is wrongly accused? Flex your attorney muscles in the comments section below.
- Michael McFall