It Fs everyone else but the reason you get busted is because of uploading, not downloading. Downloading, as far as I know, hasn't been ruled in a court to be illegal. There's too many fair use questions at hand for that, I imagine. The distribution is where you get caught.
The solution I use is to go into the bandwidth on my torrent-majigger and turn the upload speed to 1kb/s. Then I use the autoshutdown settings to close as soon as the torrent finishes.
The catch is most ISPs have a 1 or 2 warning system before they say they'll take action. If you've already burnt one warning, it may not be worth risking it. I've moved since I got my warning so I've pushed the reset button on 100 years in prison and a $10 gazillion fine.