When asked, most people will claim that they would never intentionally break the law. But few people would say that they have never broken the law in their life or that it will never happen. Part of the reason for this is that people may accidentally break laws that they don’t even realize exist.
For instance, certain activities are legal within a state, but they may become illegal if the person involved crosses state lines. You may think that you’re not breaking the law with a certain activity because you’ve always practiced it close to home. But if you take that same activity on the road, then you could put yourself at risk of federal laws.
Selling raw milk
One example of this would be crossing state lines to sell raw milk. The U.S. Pasteurized Milk Ordinance mandates that raw milk cannot be sold in a different state than where it was produced. Only pasteurized milk can cross state lines. But farmers have been arrested for trying to sell their unpasteurized milk in other states.
Another example would be if you purchased marijuana. If you’re over 21 years old, you can do this for either medical or recreational purposes in California. You’re not breaking the state laws. But if you drive over state lines with that marijuana in your possession, then you may have committed a federal crime. State laws may have changed, but marijuana is still federally illegal, so you can’t even drive into another state that also has recreational marijuana laws.
These are just two examples of how seemingly innocuous actions could lead to legal charges. Be sure you know what defense options you have.