Mail Theft Lawyers
Millions of letters are delivered to people across the country by the United States Postal Service. Important documents, checks, bank statements and credit cards are just a few things that hold the utmost level of importance for the address. Unfortunately, these items hold a level of importance for others who may decide to claim the mail as their own.
If they do and get caught, they can face charges of mail theft. Being charged with this type of crime requires help from a reputable lawyer.
What is Mail Theft?
Mail theft is generally known as the misuse and misplacement of someone else’s mail that is delivered by the USPS. An example of this is purposely taking mail that does not belong to you out of another person’s mailbox.
A conviction of mail theft is likely when an individual:
• Takes mail from any authorized place that stores mail such as the post office mailbox or letter carrier
• Uses deception or fraud to obtain mail from these places
• Remove contents from a mail package, which can be mail bags, postcards and packages
• Hide or destroy mail
• Buy or receive mail knowing it was illegally obtained
Stolen mail can come from any type of carrier, including FedEx or UPS.
In addition, mail theft is closely tied to other crimes that involve making false representations or statements just to receive a benefit that was meant for someone else.
Targets include government checks or credit card applications, as well as official packages that contain sensitive personal information to use in fraudulent financial transactions. This latter description could also lead to being investigated for identity theft.
The destruction or altering of mail that belongs to someone else is also considered mail theft.
Penalties for Committing Mail Theft
Stealing mail is a violation of U.S. Code Section 1708. Since the USPS is a federal entity, mail theft is a federal offense. Being convicted of any federal crime, including mail theft, can lead to a significant federal prison sentence and monetary fines. In addition, you may also face state charges under state mail theft laws.
You could receive a misdemeanor charge for mail theft or a felony charge if authorities think the facts of the crime was excessive. Federal criminal charges for mail theft use specific fraud statutes, which gives federal courts jurisdiction over the cases. This is typical with a majority of fraud cases involving U.S. mail.
Under New York state law, certain U.S. mail theft crimes are prosecuted as identity theft. A base charge of Identity Theft in the Third Degree applies to anyone who intentionally takes the identity of another person, presenting themselves as that person to obtain services, property or money. This is a Class A misdemeanor with a one year prison sentence and/or up to a $1,000 fine.
Punishment for Identity Theft in the Second Degree is a $5,000 fine and up to four years in prison. This is a Class E felony. When a person intentionally takes another person’s identity and obtains more than $2,000 in property, credit, services or money, they can be charged with Identity Theft in the First Degree. This charge comes with a $5,000 fine and up to seven years in prison.
Defense for Mail Theft Charges
There are several defenses that might help you beat a mail theft charge. For instance, you and your lawyer may decide that saying you forgot to take the person’s mail to the post office. If you simply have someone, like a former tenant’s, mail in your possession, you may not be guilty of mail theft.
The criminal act occurs if you open it with the intent of doing something malicious with it. Additionally, the prosecution must prove that stealing the mail for some type of monetary gain was your intention in order for you to be convicted for mail theft.
How Mail Theft Lawyers Can Help
A mail theft lawyer can meet with you to evaluate your case. This is a time for you to explain the details so he or she can prepare the best defense. If you contact Spodek Law Group, PC, you are guaranteed a lawyer who will aggressively fight for your freedom. Do not stress about going to prison; contact us today so we can begin preparing a defense for an acquittal or dismissal of your case.
New York Penal Law 165.15: Theft of services
When most of us think about theft, we only think about stealing tangible properties like money, television, car, or jewelry. However, theft involves many other things in this capability. As a matter of fact, no one has a better understanding of what it takes than those in this business. A common theft can involve stealing from merchandise. Moreover, theft also involves stealing restaurant services, a cab ride, or any other utility services in any sector. Under the New York penal code 165:15, you can be prosecuted with this type of service if you:
1. If you obtain services from a restaurant or hotel and fail to pay for them intentionally,
2. Obtain service by using a debit or credit card that might have been stolen,
3. Obtain subway, railway, taxi, air, bus or any other public transportation service without paying by deceit, stealth, or mechanical tampering,
4. Obtain a utility or telecommunication service by use of a decoder, or tampering the service, fraud, misinterpretation, or the use of revoked or canceled access device,
5. Access computer services without paying for the utility.
Joey and Judy were enjoying a meal at a local restaurant. During that meal, the bill came at an amount that exceeded $150. Because they thought they never wanted to pay for the services, Joey opened up the booth and placed a $10 bill on the table and hides the other one. Joey and Judy casually walk out of the restaurant after paying the $10 bill. Both Joey and Judy can be prosecuted for service theft at the restaurant after pretending to pay the money in full amounts.
1. First-degree criminal tampering: New York Penal Law 145:20
2. Second-degree criminal tampering: New York Penal Law 145: 15
3. Third-degree criminal tampering: New York Penal Law 145:14
For you to face conviction for theft of services, you must have done an intentional action. For instance, you can walk away from the restaurant believing that the other person would pay for your dinner. In this case, you have a defense against this charge.
This type of theft case has two possible outcomes. It can be classified as a Class E felony or a Class A misdemeanor depending on the type of service theft you committed. If theft of service as a violation is what you were caught committing, you are likely to face a jail term of not more than 15 days accompanied with a small fine prescribed by the judge. If you are charged with a class A misdemeanor charge of service theft, you will have a jail term of not less than one year accompanied by a fine. If you are convicted of committing a class E felony for theft of services, you may face a four-year sentence accompanied by a fine.
New York Penal Law 165.15: Theft of services
A person is found guilty of theft of service when:
1. He attempts or obtains a service, induces or attempts to induce a rendered service supplier to agree to pay for the service on credit by use of a credit or debit card that is stolen.
The nyc criminal attorneys Law Firm
Whether you are facing a charge of theft of services or a felony action, you will spend some quality time in jail. For this reason, your life will never remain the same. Once you come out of jail, you will face life with a criminal record. However, your charge can be reduced or dropped if you have the right legal representation. The staff at NYC Criminal Attorneys Law Firm has the experience in representing clients with criminal charges. Call us for a free consultation session.