Many Fulton County residents know that US federal law prohibits a very broad range of conduct, ranging from drug offenses to white collar crime. It can seem that there is a federal law dealing with almost any possible scenario involving the federal government. One of the lesser-known provisions in the U.S. Code forbids destroying public mailboxes.
Did you know that the federal government considers all mailboxes to be federal property? This includes not only the big blue boxes visible on many streets, but also city residential mailboxes and rural area mailboxes too. These are all protected under federal law.
It is a federal offense to vandalize mailboxes. It is also a federal crime to injure, deface or destroy the mail placed in the mailboxes. The penalties carried by these crimes are no laughing matter. Persons convicted of vandalizing mailboxes could face up to three years in federal prison or a fine of up to $250,000.
Being accused of a federal crime can be a nerve-wracking, confusing experience. Federal investigators and prosecutors are known for their dogged pursuits of those they believe have violated federal law. This is true even if the accusations are for something as seemingly inconsequential as destroying public mailboxes.
It should be remembered, though, that the same constitutional protections apply to federal prosecutions as apply to other kinds of prosecutions. Defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Georgia criminal law attorneys can provide defendants with a robust defense to the government's accusations. And the government must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt before a jury can convict.