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Last Updated on: 28th July 2023, 07:20 pm
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.
Millions of critical and confidential pieces of mail are entrusted to the United States Postal Service (USPS) every day, carrying important items such as checks, bank statements, and credit cards. Sadly, these valuable items also attract the attention of unscrupulous individuals who may claim the mail as their own. Such actions can lead to charges of mail theft, a serious crime that requires the expertise of a reputable lawyer to defend.
In layman terms, mail theft refers to the act of unlawfully taking someone else’s mail that is delivered by the USPS. This could involve deliberately taking mail that does not belong to you from another persons mailbox or using deception or fraud to obtain mail from authorized mail storage locations. Additionally, this crime extends to individuals who hide, destroy, buy, or receive mail knowing that it was illegally obtained. In essence, mail theft can stem from various carriers, including FedEx or UPS.
Often, mail theft is interlinked with other crimes that entail making false representations or statements to gain unauthorized benefits or access to personal information for fraudulent financial transactions. Such acts can lead to investigations for identity theft, as well as legal consequences for the destruction or altering of someone else’s mail.
As a violation of U.S. Code Section 1708, mail theft is a federal offense, given that the USPS is a federal entity. Conviction of this crime can lead to potentially long federal prison sentences, costly monetary fines, and additional state charges under state mail theft laws.
Depending on the facts and severity of the crime, individuals charged with mail theft could face either misdemeanor or felony charges. Specifically, New York state law often prosecutes certain mail theft crimes as identity theft, where the base charge of Identity Theft in the Third Degree is a Class A misdemeanor carrying a one-year prison sentence and/or up to a $1,000 fine. More severe cases of identity theft can carry a $5,000 fine and up to seven years in prison.
Fortunately, there are viable defense strategies that can help mitigate or even overturn mail theft charges. For instance, merely possessing someone else’s mail does not constitute a criminal act unless you opened it with malicious intent. Similarly, the prosecution must prove that the defendant intended to gain financially by stealing the mail in order to secure a conviction for mail theft.
Retaining the services of an experienced and aggressive mail theft lawyer is crucial for ensuring the best possible outcome for your case. These legal professionals will meet with you to thoroughly evaluate your case and formulate the most effective defense. The sooner you contact a reputable lawyer, the better your chances of acquittal or dismissal, so do not hesitate to take action.
Theft is generally associated with stealing physical property such as money, cars, or jewelry. However, theft also encompasses other items and services, such as restaurant services, taxi rides, or utility services. Under New York Penal Code 165:15, individuals can be prosecuted for theft of services if they fail to pay for services received, use a stolen debit or credit card to obtain services, or access computer services without paying the required fees.
Facing a conviction for theft of services can result in various charges and penalties depending on the specific circumstances of the crime. These can range from a 15-day jail term and a small fine for a violation, to a one-year jail term and a fine for a Class A misdemeanor, all the way up to a four-year sentence and a fine for a Class E felony.
A person can be found guilty of theft of service when they attempt to obtain a service on credit using a stolen credit or debit card, or when they induce a service provider to render services on credit with a stolen card.
Whether facing a theft of services charge or a felony action, don’t let your life be devastated by a criminal record, loss of employment opportunities, and a tarnished reputation. Retaining the right legal representation can make all the difference in having your charges reduced or dropped. The experienced staff at NYC Criminal Attorneys Law Firm have successfully represented clients facing criminal charges and are ready to provide a free consultation to discuss your case. Don’t wait contact them today to protect your rights, your freedom, and your future.
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