Overcriminalization Victim Bobby Unser - Case Summary

Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Unser has been an avid adventurer and outdoorsman all his life. But never did he think that his love for the outdoors would land him on a path to being deemed a federal criminal. Since his retirement from competitive auto racing, Bobby has spent much of his time in and around the mountains of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. In December 1996, he and a friend got lost in those mountains while snowmobiling and nearly died, but Bobby’s resourcefulness and determination saved his friend’s life. Bobby suffered dehydration and frostbite and had to be hospitalized. After returning home, Unser soon learned that he faced a possible $5000 fine and up to six months imprisonment. How is it that someone who nearly lost his life in a blizzard suddenly became the target of federal prosecution?



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