If you pick up or open someone else's mail by accident, just return the item to its rightful owner and apologize. However, if it was intentional tampering, then there could be serious consequences that depend on what kind of information gets into the wrong hands-so try not to do this!
Mail theft is a federal crime that can have serious consequences. The USPS considers mailboxes to be federal property. So if you are thinking about mail tampering, you can face up to five years in prison and fines as high as $250K!
This is a crime of vandalism. One who vandalizes the mail by injuring, defacing, or destroying it could face imprisonment up to three years and fines from $250k-$500k depending on the severity of the act committed.
You could face criminal charges if your mail was pilfered. Depending on the manner of theft, you may have additional crimes to worry about, like assault and breaking-in! If personal identifying information such as DOB, names, phone numbers, addresses, tax id numbers, social security number drivers license was taken, then identity theft would be an issue too.
In addition to federal charges, you can also face state-level criminal litigation. For example, in California, mail theft is a crime that's specifically prohibited by the Penal Code of that State and punishable as such with jail time or fines!
As defined by the federal mail tampering law, Mail theft can be punishable by up to a year in jail and fines of $1,000. Not all states have specific laws for this type of offense, but it might be considered under other crimes if committed here too.
In New York, property damage crimes fall into one of two categories: criminal mischief and criminal tampering. You could be charged with a third-degree crime which carries up to 90 days in jail if the prosecution has probable cause that you tampered with someone's mail without intent but did so for an inconvenient purpose instead!
Do you know how to report cybercrime? If so then click here: How to report a cybercrime?