You should refuse to talk with police because just about every darn thing you could ever do or think is illegal somewhere at some place and time. And if it isn’t, the police may say you do something else that is illegal.
Estimates of the current size of the body of federal criminal law vary, but it has been reported that the Congressional Research Service cannot even count the current number of federal crimes. And these laws are scattered in over the 50 titles of the United States Code, encompassing roughly 27,000 pages. Worse yet, the statutory code sections often incorporate by reference the provisions and sanctions of administrative regulations promulgated by various regulatory agencies. Estimates of how many such regulations exist are even well less settled, but the American Bar Association believes there are nearly 10,000.
For instance, 16 U.S.C. Section 3370 makes it a federal offense for any person to “import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase any fish or wildlife or plant taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of any law, treaty, or regulation of the United States or in violation of any Indian tribal law or regulation of any state or any foreign law.
Many people have been prosecuted federally under this statute, which can make it a federal crime to possess a lobster which is too short under some state’s law, or to possess a bony fish from Honduras, which is prohibited in Honduras (though not in the U.S.) – and so on and so forth. And this is only 1 out of approximately 10,000. And this doesn’t even include West Virginia’s lengthy list of state crimes.