Mothers Do the Darnedest Things: 10 Dumb Ways Moms Get Arrested

By Brett Snider, Esq. on May 09, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

When you filled out your Mother's Day card this year (you haven't?), did you pause and think of some bonehead move your mom pulled over the last year?

Here's hoping that dumb move by your mom didn't get her arrested, as happened to quite a few conniving (and some unwitting) criminal mothers over the past few years.

Proving that having the ability to produce or rear children does not a criminal genius make, here are 10 dumb ways moms have gotten arrested:

  1. Texting and Driving ... With a Baby in Your Lap. Quite the illegal multitasker, one California mom was busted for texting with her 1-year-old son between her and the steering wheel. Police also took issue with her other young children not being properly secured in the vehicle.

  2. Shoplifting. Bargain-seeking moms get arrested for this all the time, including the now-infamous mother of Boston Marathon bombing suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Zubeidat Tsarnaeva made a poor fashion choice in deciding to skip bail on a shoplifting charge over $1,600 worth of designer dresses. In fact, her arrest warrant may be one reason she changed her mind about returning to the United States.

  3. Throwing Your Underage Daughter a Kegger. Denise "Miki" Spies proved that 45-year-old moms can still be totally cool, and that they still know how to party... That is, until she got arrested for providing alcohol to a houseful of teenagers including her 18-year-old daughter.

  4. Giving Your 11-Year-Old a Tattoo. One tattoo artist mom probably should have thought twice about bringing her work home, after she was arrested for giving her tween daughter a heart tattoo on her left arm. She's not alone. A tip for all the inked moms out there: At least 39 states also prohibit children's tattoos, with some exceptions.

  5. Endangering Kids While Looking for Your Missing Stash. One pothead mom was apparently jonesing for some jailtime, which she got in spades after locking her kids in her home while she tried to track down her missing drug stash. Tragically, the house caught fire while she was out, and her twin sons died.

  6. Starting a Ponzi Scheme. Move over Bernie Madoff: Ponzi schemes are now the province of PTA moms. From 2008 to 2010, some California moms schemed and spent millions before being charged with grand theft and securities fraud.

  7. Smuggling Drugs to Your Son, With a Kiss. Every mom wants to give her son a little sugar now and then, but less-than-sweet Kimberly Margeson was caught trying to pass Oxycodone pills to her son in jail ... via must must've been a cringe-worthy French kiss.

  8. Punching Your Son During an Anger-Management Class. No one likes a child with a dirty mouth, but Misty Lawson decked her son twice after he called her the "B" word, angering her during her court-ordered anger-management counseling.

  9. Sending Death Threats to Coaches. Being a helicopter parent may have its limits. Janet Chizuzzi demonstrated this when she mailed death threats to her son's Little League coach, who excluded the boy from a travel team. Talk about being a bad sport.

  10. Obstructing Some Justice. Celebrity moms aren't immune from dumb criminal impulses either, as "Legally Blonde" actress Reese Witherspoon showed the world in her drunken arrest video. Witherspoon even tried to pull the "mom" card by falsely claiming she was pregnant and needed to use the restroom, Us Magazine reports. Didn't her mom teach her better?

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