However, the reality is that there are so many laws on the books that everyone is a criminal already, even the little old lady from Pasadena.
In Brazil, a lawyer took on the task of making one book with all
tributary laws. The effort took almost 20 years, and the book weights 6 tons
. He had to find a billboard advertising company to print it, no book printers had the necessary capacity.
And that's just the tributary legislation!! Imagine all different codes together! It's impossible to be "law-abiding". "Follow the law" means "have more and better lawyers than those who might oppose you".
Edit: A Brazilian author calls this crypto-totalitarianism
. It gives those in power almost complete control over people, like in a totalitarian state, only that people don't see it clearly. It's a disguised totalitarianism.
That is a correct assessment of the law. Lawyers design the law so that anything can be construed as illegal depending on the environment in which a case is being prosecuted. You are correct in saying that everyone has committed a crime under the law.
The protection used to be the Jury. And at least for Criminal Prosecutions it remains there. Civilly however, Jury's don't mean much because the looser immediately appeals and leaves the Jury behind.
Judges are now politicized which in the end will defeat the whole system.
The best laws ever written were written without lawyers and rather than politics driving the law, it was principles. Those days, sadly, are long gone.