Damaging or Destroying Public Mailboxes Defense Attorney Utah
Mailbox vandalism charges are a lot more serious than most people think. That’s because if a person willfully destroys or damages a public mailbox, they can be charged at both the state and federal level. A hit and run mailbox penalty for what seems like a minor vandalism incident can actually result in years in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.
If you have been charged with mailbox vandalism in Utah, you should contact Wasatch Defense Lawyers immediately.
Mailbox Vandalism Laws in Utah
You can be charged with mailbox vandalism in Utah if you take any action that results in the destruction of or damage to a mailbox. This can range from mailbox bashing with a tool such as a baseball bat, to blowing a mailbox up with fireworks or explosives, or simply knocking over or defacing a mailbox. The “Damage to Mail Receptacle” statutes are outlined in the Utah Criminal Code at section 76-6-1002, found here. Depending on the circumstances of the crime, state prosecutors may also charge an individual with Criminal Mischief under section 76-6-106, found here. Destroying mailboxes is also a federal crime under 18 U.S.C § 1705.
Consequences You Face if Found Guilty of Mailbox Vandalism in Utah
Under Utah statutes, mailbox vandalism is a Class B misdemeanor at a bare minimum. This can carry a penalty of up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. The penalties only get worse from there, especially if there are mitigating circumstances in the case. For example, a person will face additional charges if they destroy a mailbox using explosives. If the contents inside the mailbox are valuable and are also destroyed in the process, you could actually be charged with a felony resulting in five years imprisonment and a $5,000 fine.
You might be wondering, “Is mailbox bashing a federal offense ?” Indeed, it is. The mail service is considered critical infrastructure under federal law, and mailboxes are under the jurisdiction of the United States Postal Service. In all likelihood, you will be charged with federal destruction of letter boxes or mail if you destroy a mailbox in Utah. The penalties at the federal level are extreme; you could be sentenced to three years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine if found guilty.
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Charged with Mailbox Vandalism in Utah? Get a Free Case Evaluation
As you can see, mailbox vandalism laws in Utah and in the United States are very serious. If you have been charged with vandalizing or destroying mailboxes, the consequences can permanently impact your life. You should not try to defend yourself against state and federal charges if you are accused of mailbox vandalism, no matter how outlandish the charges may seem.
A dedicated mailbox vandalism attorney who is familiar with navigating the state and federal courts is a must.