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Is it a federal offense to open someone else's mail?

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βˆ™ 2013-11-21 01:05:07

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http://frwebgate3.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/TEXTgate.cgi?WAISdocID=29350926904+10+1+0&WAISaction=retrieve

http://frwebgate4.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/TEXTgate.cgi?WAISdocID=292897181601+28+1+0&WAISaction=retrieve

http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode18/usc_sec_18_00001702----000-.html

http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode18/usc_sec_18_00001703----000-.html

From the U.S. Code Online via GPO Access

[www.gpoaccess.gov]

[Laws in effect as of January 3, 2007]

[CITE: 18USC1702]

TITLE 18--CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

PART I--CRIMES

CHAPTER 83--POSTAL SERVICE

Sec. 1702. Obstruction of correspondence

Whoever takes any letter, postal card, or package out of any post

office or any authorized depository for mail matter, or from any letter

or mail carrier, or which has been in any post office or authorized

depository, or in the custody of any letter or mail carrier, before it

has been delivered to the person to whom it was directed, with design to

obstruct the correspondence, or to pry into the business or secrets of

another, or opens, secretes, embezzles, or destroys the same, shall be

fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 778; Pub. L. 103-322, title XXXIII,

Sec. 330016(1)(I), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Sec. 317 (Mar. 4, 1909, ch.

321, Sec. 194, 35 Stat. 1125; Feb. 25, 1925, ch. 318, 43 Stat. 977; Aug.

26, 1935, ch. 693, 49 Stat. 867; Aug. 7, 1939, ch. 557, 53 Stat. 1256).

Section 317 of said title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., was incorporated in

this and section 1708 of this title.

Minor changes were made in phraseology.

Amendments

1994--Pub. L. 103-322 substituted ``fined under this title'' for

``fined not more than $2,000''.

From the U.S. Code Online via GPO Access

[www.gpoaccess.gov]

[Laws in effect as of January 3, 2007]

[CITE: 18USC1703]

TITLE 18--CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

PART I--CRIMES

CHAPTER 83--POSTAL SERVICE

Sec. 1703. Delay or destruction of mail or newspapers

(a) Whoever, being a Postal Service officer or employee, unlawfully

secretes, destroys, detains, delays, or opens any letter, postal card,

package, bag, or mail entrusted to him or which shall come into his

possession, and which was intended to be conveyed by mail, or carried or

delivered by any carrier or other employee of the Postal Service, or

forwarded through or delivered from any post office or station thereof

established by authority of the Postmaster General or the Postal

Service, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than

five years, or both.

(b) Whoever, being a Postal Service officer or employee, improperly

detains, delays, or destroys any newspaper, or permits any other person

to detain, delay, or destroy the same, or opens, or permits any other

person to open, any mail or package of newspapers not directed to the

office where he is employed; or

Whoever, without authority, opens, or destroys any mail or package

of newspapers not directed to him, shall be fined under this title or

imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 778; May 24, 1949, ch. 139, Sec. 37,

63 Stat. 95; Pub. L. 91-375, Sec. 6(j)(16), Aug. 12, 1970, 84 Stat. 778;

Pub. L. 103-322, title XXXIII, Sec. 330016(1)(B), (G), Sept. 13, 1994,

108 Stat. 2146, 2147.)

Historical and Revision Notes

1948 Act

Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Secs. 318, 319 (Mar. 4, 1909,

ch. 321, Secs. 195, 196, 35 Stat. 1125, 1126).

Section consolidated sections 318 and 319 of said title 18, U.S.C.,

1940 ed. The embezzlement and theft provisions of each were incorporated

in sections 1709 and 1710 of this title.

Minor changes were made in phraseology.

1949 Act

This section [section 37] corrects typographical errors in section

1703 of title 18, U.S.C.

Amendments

1994--Pub. L. 103-322 substituted ``fined under this title'' for

``fined not more than $500'' in subsec. (a) and ``fined under this

title'' for ``fined not more than $100'' in last par.

1970--Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 91-375, Sec. 6(j)(16)(A), amended subsec.

(a) generally, which prior to amendment read as follows: ``Whoever,

being a postmaster or Postal Service employee, unlawfully detains,

delays, or opens any letter, postal card, package, bag, or mail

intrusted to him or which shall come into his possession, and which was

intended to be conveyed by mail, or carried or delivered by any carrier

or other employee of the Postal Service, or forwarded through or

delivered from any post office or station thereof established by

authority of the Postmaster General; or secretes, or destroys any such

letter, postal card, package, bag, or mail, shall be fined not more than

$500 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.''

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 91-375, Sec. 6(j)(16)(B), substituted ``Postal

Service officer or employee'' for ``postmaster or Postal Service

employee''.

1949--Subsec. (a). Act May 24, 1949, Sec. 37(a), substituted

``secretes'' for ``secrets''.

Subsec. (b). Act May 24, 1949, Sec. 37(b), substituted

``newspapers'' for ``newspaper''.

Effective Date of 1970 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 91-375 effective within 1 year after Aug. 12,

1970, on date established therefor by Board of Governors of United

States Postal Service and published by it in Federal Register, see

section 15(a) of Pub. L. 91-375, set out as an Effective Date note

preceding section 101 of Title 39, Postal Service.
It is a violation of US Postal Regulations to do so. It is described as; "Intercepting mail belonging to another."

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Related Questions

Is it a federal offense to open someone elses mail?

Certainly is. Called tampering with the US Mail. The Postal Inspection Service takes a very dim view of this.


Is it a federal offense to open someone elses mailbox?

There is no specific law against opening someone else's mailbox. It is against the law however, to remove mail from someone else's mailbox or open mail without their permission.


Is it illegal for someone to take a bank statement addressed to two other people from one of their houses and open it?

Yes tampering with someone elses mail or mailbox is a federal offense.


Is it a federal offense to hold a tenants mail?

It's an offense to open someone else's mail box


Is it an offense to open someone elses mail?

yes it is because if it is not adressed to you i can tell you please do not open it


What is the penalty for opening someone else's mail if your fifteen?

Tampering with someone else's mail is a federal offense.


Is keeping someone else's mail a federal offense?

If caught then yes.


Is it a federal offense to open someone else's mail at work?

Yes


Is opening someone else's mail illegel?

Yes, it is a federal offense to open someone else mail without there consent.


Can you open mail sent to your address but not addressed to you?

No, you may not. It is a federal offense to open someone else's mail.


Is it a federal offense to open someone elses mail box?

Not only to open somoene else mailbox, or mail, but doing anything to the mailbox, even putting a newspaper, or anything else in the box is against the law. Only a mailman can legally put mail in the mailbox.


Is it a crime to open a mothers mail and then using it to call bank for greed?

Yes, It is a Federal NO NO to open someone elses mail. and to impersinate someone to a Bank its also Federal NO NO. You just dont do stupid things like that.


Is it a federal offense to open someone else's mail at your address?

NO, There is a common misconception that it is illegal to open mail addressed to someone else that has been delivered to you.


Opening someone elses mail?

It is against federal law to open someone else's mail only if that mail is removed from a mailbox or from a post office or post carrier before it is delivered. If mail is delivered to your address that belongs to someone else it is not illegal to open it.


Is it a federal offense to threaten a postal mail carrier?

A post office worker or a postal mail carrier is a federal employee. It is a federal offense to threaten a postal worker.


Is it a federal offense to stop someone else's mail?

Yes, 5 yrs imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.


Is tampering with the mail a federal offense?

yes!


Is it a crime to keep someone elses checks and then lie to a judge about having them?

It is a crime to steal someone else's checks. If you aren't using them, it is probably petty theft. If you are under oath, it is a crime to lie to the judge. This is perjury.Additional: Also - if you gained access to them by taking them from the US Mail you can also be charged with a Federal Offense (Mail Tampering and Intercepting the US Mail Belonging To Another).


Is it a federal offense to steal someone's mail?

yes it is


What are the rules about opening someone else's mail?

The rules about opening someone else mail are very clear. It is a crime, you will get in trouble if caught and you could potentially do time in prison as it is a federal offense.


Is it a federal offense to mail illegal items through USPS?

Yes, it is a Federal offense to mail illegal items through The United States Postal Service (USPS).


Is withholding business mail a criminal offense?

The 'interception' of ANYONE's mail is a federal offense under US Postal Regulations.


Is it a federal offense to destroy mail?

Absolutely. Mail is considered private property.


Is it against the law to open someone elses mail?

Yes it is. Opening somone else mail can lead to imprisonment or a $ 5,000 fine or both. So don't open no one else mail. This is said by the Federal law.


Can you open someone else's mailbox just to look to see who the mail is addressed to?

No, you can't. It is considered a federal offense to take and look at someone's mail and/or look in their box.