Riverside, CA asked in Criminal Law and Communications Law for California

Q: If I tell my mom not to open a specific type of mail and she does it anyway is it illegal

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Under United States federal law, it is generally illegal for someone to open mail that is not addressed to them without permission. This is outlined in the Federal Mail Tampering Laws. If you specifically instructed your mom not to open certain types of your mail and she does so anyway, it can be considered a violation of these laws.

However, the enforcement of these laws typically depends on the context and the intent behind the action. If the act was done without malicious intent or without causing harm, it is less likely to be pursued legally. But, it's important to understand that the legal right to privacy in your correspondence is protected.

If you're facing this issue, it might be helpful to have a clear conversation with your mom about your privacy and boundaries regarding mail. If the situation continues or escalates, you might consider seeking legal advice to understand your options and protect your privacy rights. Remember, communication is often key in resolving such personal matters.

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