Have You Been Charged with Mailbox or Package Stealing in Georgia?
Have You Been Charged With Porch Piracy in Georgia?
Over the past several years, the increase in deliveries from companies like Amazon have forced legislators to pass laws protecting citizens from their packages being stolen. There are several laws regarding stolen mail and packages that we will go over but if you have any questions, please reach out to our Georgia Stolen Package Attorneys today. If you or a loved one have been charged with stealing mail or packages in Georgia, you should reach out immediately. Multiple charges can lead to a felony conviction that will remain on your record forever. Call us today for a free, no obligation case evaluation.
Theft By Possession of Stolen Mail or Package Stealing in Georgia
There are several laws that relate to theft of mail or packages. One section is O.C.G.A. § 16-824 that details that possessing stolen mail means knowingly receive, retain, possess, conceal, or dispose of stolen mail knowing that it has been stolen and to withhold such stolen mail from the true owner or person to whom the mail is addressed or to appropriate such stolen mail to the use of any person other than the true owner or the person to whom the mail is addressed.
There are a couple elements to theft of stolen mail which means that the State must find you guilty of all elements before you can be found guilty. These elements include:
- receiving, retaining, possessing, concealing, or disposing mail knowing it was stolen and
- withholding the mail from the true owner to whom the mail is addressed
Penalty for Conviction of Theft of Possession of Stolen Mail or Mail Stealing in Georgia
A person will be guilty of theft by possession of stolen packages if they possess mail addresses to three or more different mailboxes or addresses and possess a minimum of ten separate pieces of stolen mail.
A person who is convicted of theft by possession of stolen mail in Georgia will be guilty of a felony and will be punished by a prison term between one and five years. The judge does have the discretion to have it charged as a misdemeanor so it is critical to hire a Georgia Stolen Mail Lawyer to help prevent you from having a felony on your criminal record.
Note that each set of ten separate pieces addressed to three or more different addresses of stolen mail will constitute a separate offense. Therefore, if a person is found with 30 different pieces of stolen mail, they could be convicted of 3 separate felonies and endure a separate prison term between one and five years for each offense.
Georgia Laws on Destroying Mailboxes or Mail
O.C.G.A. § 16-7-27 states
It shall be unlawful for any person willfully or maliciously to injure, tear down, or destroy any mailbox or receptacle intended or used for the receipt or delivery of mail or willfully or maliciously to injure, deface, or destroy any mail deposited therein.
Similarly to theft by possession, destroying mailboxes or mail requires intent by the accused to destroy the mail. A showing by your Georgia Package and Mail Theft Lawyer of lack of intent could result in a dismissal of the charges.
Penalty for Destroying Mailboxes or Mail in Georgia
A person convicted of destroying mailboxes or mail in Georgia will be guilty of a misdemeanor. In Georgia, misdemeanors are punishable by a fine up to $1,000 and/or up to one year in jail.
Defenses to Stealing Packages or Mail in Georgia
- Lack of Knowledge: If you thought the mail was addressed to you and did not intend to withhold the mail from the original addressee, then your Theft by Possession of Stolen Mail Lawyer in Georgia will build a robust defense demonstrating your lack of intent.
- Had Permission to Possess Mail or Package: If you were housesitting for some families while they were out of town and had permission to take their mail, that could be a sufficient defense. Evidence of emails or text messages demonstrating that you had the authority to hold their mail would be beneficial.
Contact Us Today if you Need a Georgia Stolen Mail or Package Attorney
If you or a loved one have been charged with theft by possessing stolen mail or packages, contact our offices today. What may have been a simple misunderstanding could result in a felony being on your record! We will fight to make sure this does not happen to you and will work tirelessly on your behalf. Our office has over 50 combined years of experience and are prepared to assist you today. Call now for a free case evaluation.