HOW TO BECOME A FEDERAL CRIMINAL

HOW TO BECOME A FEDERAL CRIMINAL: AN ILLUSTRATED HANDBOOK FOR THE ASPIRING OFFENDER , by Mike Chase  (Author)

Publisher: Atria Books; Illustrated edition (June 4, 2019)

Have you ever clogged a toilet in a national forest? That could get you six months in federal prison. Written a letter to a pirate? You might be looking at three years in the slammer. Leaving the country with too many nickels, drinking a beer on a bicycle in a national park, or importing a pregnant polar bear are all very real crimes, and this riotously funny, ridiculously entertaining, and fully illustrated book shows how just about anyone can become—or may already be—a federal criminal. Whether you’re a criminal defense lawyer or just a self-taught expert in outrageous offenses, How to Become a Federal Criminal is your wonderfully weird window into a criminally overlooked sector of American government.

By day, MIKE CHASE is a white collar criminal defense lawyer.By night, he’s the legal humorist behind the @CrimeADay Twitter feed, where he offers a daily dose of his extensive research into the curious, intriguing, and often amusing history of America’s expansive criminal laws. Mike’s work has made him the go-to commentator on the countless weird and esoteric federal criminal laws buried deep in the books: he’s been a featured guest on American Public Media’s The Uncertain Hour, published in The Wall Street Journal, and more.justice. But they haven’t. Now some are calling on Congress to answer it in impeachment proceedings. This tiresome exercise could be undertaken with countless other federal laws. Is it a crime to remove a migratory bird that has taken up roost in your house? It depends. Can you cut the tag off a mattress? Again, it depends. What does it depend on? Well, that depends too. Lawyers are conditioned to accept this, but it’s no less unsettling that, even when the facts are clear, lawmakers, law enforcers, judges and lawyers still can’t agree on what the law itself makes a crime. It’s not just a federal problem. Nor is it an exclusively political one. The same day that the special counsel released his report, the highest court in the state of Washington issued an evenly split opinion concerning that state’s own obstruction statute. In it, eight justices of the Washington Supreme Court couldn’t agree whether a man’s refusal to open his door for police constituted a crime. There was no real dispute about the facts. There was a statute written in black and white. Yet the court split 4-4.