Which phrasal verb is correct in the sentence and why:
"Pickpockets usually get off/away without being punished."
Both verbs have a similar meaning - leave, escape (as from punishment). What's the difference and usage then? Please help.
a.to escape the consequences of or punishment for one's actions.
b.to help (someone) escape punishment: A good lawyer might get you off.
c.to begin a journey; leave: He got off on the noon flight.
d.to leave (a train, plane, etc.); dismount from (a horse); alight.
e.to tell (a joke); express (an opinion): The comedian got off a couple of good ones.
f.Informal. to have the effrontery: Where does he get off telling me how to behave?
g.Slang: Vulgar. to experience orgasm.
h.to experience or cause to experience a high from or as if from a drug.
i.to cause to feel pleasure, enthusiasm, or excitement: a new rock group that gets everyone off.
To get away with something means to perpetrate or accomplish a misdeed without detection or punishment
In your sentence, "Pickpockets usually get away without being punished", you are suggesting that pickpockets are never caught.
Well, the point is that the key to the exercise where the sentence appeared says thatget off is correct here - 'Pickpockets usually get off without being punished'.
However I'm not sure if get away sounds incorect. To me it sounds ok if we mean that pickpockets physically leave a place and are not caught:
Pickpockets usually get away without being punished = Pickpockets usually escape (from the place of crime) and are not punished.
Pickpockets usually get off without being punished = Pickpockets usually escape a punishment. = Pickpockets usually get away with stealing.
Am I right? Does it make sense?
I'd be very grateful for a native speaker's opinion and comment on this.
Thanks in advance.