Average American Unknowingly Commits Three Felonies A Day

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Members of the U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Federal Government Surveillance will hear testimony on Tuesday, April 30, at 10am ET, on “Overreach: An Examination of Federal Statutory and Regulatory Crimes.” Right On Crime Executive Director and former U.S. Attorney Brett Tolman will testify that overcriminalization threatens our nation’s public safety, individual liberties, and the fair administration of justice.

“Our government can and does target citizens with impunity. In fact, it’s been estimated that the average American commits three felonies a day without even knowing it,” says Tolman.

An estimated 4,000 federal criminal offenses is dwarfed by an estimated 300,000 federal regulatory offenses, and no single government agency has an official count of a total number.

Tolman says, “The weaponization of criminal investigations and prosecutions is buttressed by our overcriminalization problem. Both run afoul of a free society and represent threats to our nation’s values.”

Find Tolman’s Written Statement here.

Watch the 10am ET Hearing here.


  • Brett Tolman, Executive Director, Right on Crime 
  • Patrick McLaughlin, Senior Research Fellow and Director of Policy Analytics, Mercatus Center at George Mason University
  • Tim Head, Executive Director, Faith and Freedom Coalition

Overcriminalization examples:

  • Three-time Indy 500 winner Bobby Unser was convicted of a federal crime in 1997 that carried up to a $5,000 fine and six-month prison sentence for abandoning a snowmobile during a blizzard in a federal wilderness area.
  • Construction worker Christopher Lewis from South Carolina received a $525 federal citation for shoplifting after refilling his soda cup and failing to pay for the refill in a VA hospital.
  • You’ll want to avoid six months behind bars by never writing a personal check under $1.
  • And it’s a federal crime and three months in jail if you knowingly and publicly provide a false weather report.

Social X account listing absurd federal crimes.