"One recent investigation revealed that the United States Congress was passing a new criminal law once a week on average. It has been reported that the problem is so severe that even the Congressional Research Service is no longer able to keep count of the exact number of federal crimes! These laws are scattered throughout all the sections of the United States Code and include thousands of criminal statutes. Even if you somehow had the time to read every page of the federal laws written down in the United States Code—and even practicing lawyers no longer have the time to read all those laws—you still would not know all the different ways you could be prosecuted by the federal government. That’s because many of those statutes written by Congress reference the obscure provisions of many thousands of regulations that have been issued by every federal regulatory agency. It has been estimated that there are tens of thousands of these obscure regulations, any one of which could potentially subject you to criminal prosecution. And that is just the list of federal criminal statutes; the states have an even greater number of crimes on the books.
People who want to read all the federal laws on the books, if they had three decades of free time on their hands, could find them all at any law library collected in a voluminous set of books called the United States Code, which is organized in different sections called titles. One of those fifty-two sections, known as Title 18, is called “Crimes and Criminal Procedure.” It is where any ordinary American citizen would expect to find a complete list of all the crimes recognized under federal law. But even if you took years of your life to read through that entire portion of the Code, believe it or not, you would have missed hundreds of the criminal laws on the books, because they are not all contained in Title 18!"