Recently, the Michigan Legislature passed new law making it a crime to hold, take or destroy the mail of another individual. See MCL 445.31 thru 445.33. There also must be an attached intent to defraud or deprive the individual of the mail. This applies to all living and non-living individuals. It should also be mentioned that this criminal act is separate and apart from any federal crime that may or could ensue from a similar act that could or can bring about separate and distinct federal charges.
An individual who is found or pleads guilty to the above mentioned crime, and this is their first offense, will have a misdemeanor conviction enter against them. They could also face up to 1-year in jail with a fine up to $500 plus costs. An individual with a prior conviction under the that provision will be enhanced to facing a 5-year felony, which attaches a possible fines of $1,000 plus costs.
Furthermore, it is also worth noting, that the mail does not need to be in any mail courier’s or similar individual’s possession or even in a deposit or mail box in order to violate this new criminal statute. Essentially the new law allows a person to fall under the guise of the criminal act at any point of transmission occurring through the “mail system”. It is an interesting and not so surprising move by the legislature. This is just one of the several and numerous reasons to know the law. And when or if officers come asking questions, you know what to do next: lawyer-up. Josh Jones always has your back.