In the 1980 comedy film The Blues Brothers, brothers Jake and Elwood Blues commit a seemingly endless series of crimes over the course of about eleven days. They evade arrest for Elwood’s invalid license, destroying a mall in the process, evade a bar charge from their first gig, destroy an unknown number of police cars (edit: a bit of research shows that 103 cars were destroyed in the film and my memory indicates that all of at least almost all of those were police), and almost run over probably hundreds of people. And that’s just the stuff I could remember offhand. So my question is as follows:

With (approximately) what would the Blue Brothers have been charged with, whether federally or in state? Secondarily, approximately what might the associated sentences have looked like?

Obviously it’s impossible to tally exactly what they did over the course of the movie, not least because of how much time they spend off camera, so I’m just looking for a range. Either contemporary or present law is fine, but I imagine there won’t be a huge difference either way. And I know sentencing is greatly affected by who is the judge- again, I only want a range.

I also note that Elwood, usually doing the driving, seems to commit most of the actual crimes, so maybe Jake would mostly get charges of aiding and abetting Elwood. Also, I recognize many of you may have never seen the film or at least not recently, so you can also consider this question a directive to go watch a very funny movie.

  • I think listing the crimes is doable and potentially entertaining, but computing sentences would be sheer drudgery. Esp. since priors figure into sentences. Just saying. – user6726 Dec 28 '20 at 2:29
  • Okay, that’s entirely possible. In that case, feel free not to include possible sentencing in any answer you give. I mean, there’s a reason I put it there secondarily rather than primarily- it’s not the main focus of my question, just a potential additional tidbit. – Lieutenant Zipp Dec 28 '20 at 3:59
  • You have to wonder how many people they actually killed with stunts like driving through the mall and causing all those car crashes, although if movie magic is involved to save everybody's lives then you're really dealing with fantasy law enforcement. – Stuart F May 4 at 9:55

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