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Federal offense for mailbox smashing?

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Latest post Thu, Jun 28 2007 3:47 PM by Hearst86. 5 replies.
  • Thu, Jun 28 2007 8:24 AM

    Federal offense for mailbox smashing?

    My 20 year old step-son was arrested and charged with criminal mischief in the 4th. He and a few others were out one evening smashing mailboxes. I have always heard that when you damange a mailbox, it is a federal offense. Is that correct?

    We live in NY State. What type of conviction might he get for this?

    Thanks
  • Thu, Jun 28 2007 9:24 AM In reply to

    Feedback [*=*] re: Federal offense for mailbox smashing?

    >>>>I have always heard that when you amange a mailbox, it is a federal offense. Is that correct?

    Probably not. A federal offense would likely arise if they destroyed the contents in the mailbox.

    >>>>What is criminal mischief in the fourth degree in NY?

    http://law.onecle.com/new-york/penal/PEN0145.00_145.00.html

    >>>>What type of conviction might he get for this?

    >>>>What punishment is associated with a class A misdemeanor?

    http://tinyurl.com/39on69

  • Thu, Jun 28 2007 10:55 AM In reply to

    Feedback [*=*] Yes, it is a federal offense to vandalize a mailbox.

    Federal law treats mailboxes as federal property, and thus the vandalism or destruction of them is a federal offense. That does not necessarily mean that the federal government will actually pursue those charges in any particular case. The act may also be a crime under state law, for which state charges could be brought.

    For more on the federal crime, see the following page from the U.S. Postal Inspector’s web page:
    http://www.usps.com/postalinspectors/smashbox.htm
  • Thu, Jun 28 2007 11:49 AM In reply to

    Feedback [*=*] re: Yes, it is a federal offense to vandalize a mailbox.

    >>>>Federal law treats mailboxes as federal property, and thus the vandalism or destruction of them is a federal offense.

    Thanks, Taxagent!
  • Thu, Jun 28 2007 12:15 PM In reply to

    • Ford
      Lawyer
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    Feedback [*=*] It's state and fed . . .

    Many crimes can be prosecuted by either jurisdiction, or both.
  • Thu, Jun 28 2007 3:47 PM In reply to

    Feedback [*=*] re: It's state and fed . . .

    As the other posters have indicated, it can be both a Federal and state offense.

    I am guessing, however, that the U.S. Attorney's office probably leaves the "garden variety" vandalism of mailbox cases, such as your stepson's case, to the local DA.
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