Can you be charged with mailing illegal drugs by receiving them? 34 Answers as of December 23, 2010

Someone mailed me 100g of marijuana, and the postal service opened it. There was no return address, but now I am being charged with mailing illegal drugs. They think I mailed it to myself. I am really scared. I did research and saw that under TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 83 > 1716B, I could go to jail for a year if convicted. Can they even charge me with this without any real evidence that I sent it? What should I do? Thank you.

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Law Office of Phillip Weiser
Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
Yes, a person can be charged with trafficking in illegal drugs and using the US Mail to further the criminal activity. There are multiple ways the charged could be filed, depending upon the prosecutor. The crimes can be charged in either or both State and Federal courts. You should contact a lawyer who specializes in drug defense. If charged in Federal court, you would want to have a lawyer who is comfortable in Federal Court.
Answer Applies to: Kansas
Replied: 12/23/2010
Law Office of Richard Williams
Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
You can be charged with possession of marijuana or perhaps conspiracy to possess/distribute marijuana (or any other drug) if someone has mailed the drugs to you. Even though there is no return address on the package label it is likely that postal inspectors and/or DEA agents have been tracking this package prior to the time you received it.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 12/23/2010
Ron Graham Attorney at Law
Ron Graham Attorney at Law | Ron Graham
The bottom line is you obtained a package with illegal drugs. So the charge could be possession.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 12/22/2010
Law Office of John Schum, LLC
Law Office of John Schum, LLC | John Schum
Thank you for contacting me for advice and possible representation.

This is an ugly situation. A prosecution for something like this would have to have some real good facts otherwise you have a decent chance to win. I suggest you meet with an attorney to discuss everything you know.

I would be glad to set up a free consultation to discuss your case if you would like. Please call me if you are interested in meeting. Under no circumstances should you talk to the police or anyone about this. That will do you no good.
Answer Applies to: Hawaii
Replied: 12/21/2010
Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
First by way of disclaimer this reply is general answer only , and does not establish an attorney client relationship. If you contact me furtherand retain me then I can represent you. However in general they can charge you have to be convicted they have to prove it at trial. If you are already charged you should retain an attorney. Looking forward to hearing from you.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 12/16/2010
    Karmali Law Office, PLLC
    Karmali Law Office, PLLC | Hussein Karmali
    My question on a case like this is who made the decision to charge you with this crime and on what authority are they indicating that you were the one who mailed the drugs, or that you had knowledge of what was being mailed to you?
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 12/15/2010
    Law Offices of Scott G. Hilderman
    Law Offices of Scott G. Hilderman | Scott G. Hilderman
    In short yes you can. As a former Assistant U.S. Attorney, aka federal prosecutor, I specialized in prosecuting drug trafficking cases. While you can be charged with the crime there are several viable defenses for a person in your situation. The most obvious is one called unwitting possession. While you were in possession of the drugs, the prosecutor will have to prove that you Knowingly and Intentionally possessed the drugs. The two most important things for you to do is to invoke your right to remain silent, that is keep your mouth shut. When someone is charged with a crime like yours, the police will try to get you to talk to give false statements which they will then claim show that you did knowingly possess the drugs. The second thing you should do is talk to an attorney ASAP, and again do not discuss this case with any person except your attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 12/15/2010
    William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law
    William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law | William C. Gosnell
    Hire a top flight criminal defense lawyer asap.
    Answer Applies to: Tennessee
    Replied: 12/15/2010
    Avioli Law, P.C.
    Avioli Law, P.C. | Michael Avioli
    Yes. You need representation.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 12/15/2010
    Law Offices of Ryan P. Murphy
    Law Offices of Ryan P. Murphy | Ryan P. Murphy
    That sounds like a complicated story. I would need more details to let you know where the case stands.

    Should you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact my office at your earliest convenience.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/14/2010
    M. Reid Legal Solutions, L.L.C.
    M. Reid Legal Solutions, L.L.C. | Michael Reid
    The short answer is yes. For more detailed response I would need additional information.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 12/14/2010
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts | Andrew Stephen Roberts
    You need to hire an attorney familiar with drug offenses. Hopefully you have a clean record.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/14/2010
    Robert Mortland
    Robert Mortland | Law Office of Robert Mortland
    They can charge you with mailing illegal drugs but they do have to prove the elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/14/2010
    The Law Office of B. Elaine Jones
    The Law Office of B. Elaine Jones | B. Elaine Jones
    Yes you can be charged with mailing illegal drugs by receiving them. However, unless there are fingerprints on the package that are yours, or some other way to identify that it came from you to yourself, they may feel they have enough to charge you and put on a trial. You are correct in that this is a federal offense, but again without sufficient evidence they probably will not be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you mailed the box to yourself. I am admitted to the local federal court so if you need a lawyer, find out how to contact me.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 11/30/2010
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
    This will depend largely on whether you are charged in Federal Court (because of the use of the mail), or in State court. You should probably limit your inquiry to attorneys in your state.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 11/28/2010
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    You are probably being charged with possession of the drugs not actually mailing them; both however are crimes. Using the mails to send illegal narcotics or other controlled substances is however a more serious crime. It would have to be proved of course in either case that you were aware of what the package contained before you opened it. Since these are felony offenses what you should do is retain a competent criminal defense attorney to represent you so that he or she can find out the actual evidence against you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/25/2010
    The Connelly Firm P.C.
    The Connelly Firm P.C. | Thomas Connelly
    You need to retain an attorney asap. Do NOT give any statements to anyone about the case. You will likely be charged with conspiracy since you did not actually have the drugs in your possession when they were discovered. If they find your fingerprints on the envelope they may be able to prove distribution, and/or possession as well. Again, I would strongly recommend that you seek legal representation immediately.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 11/24/2010
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    A federal criminal felony for dissemination of contraband through the mails is extremely serious. It can carry with it significant prison sentences as well as fines. As a result, you should hire an aggressive and experienced attorney. Only through the process of obtaining necessary discover will the defenses on the case come into focus. For a FREE consultation call.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 11/24/2010
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Can you be? Of course, you have been, havent you? If you are arrested and charged with a crime, the proper questions are, can you be convicted, and what can you do?

    Defend the charges. Go to court, enter a not guilty plea, arrange bail reduction or OR, set up and attend the court hearing[s] and trial date[s]. File evidence suppression or other motions as applicable. Raise all the available defenses with whatever admissible and credible witnesses, evidence and facts are available for legal arguments for motions, plea bargaining, or at trial. Go to trial if it can't be resolved with motions or a plea bargain. There is no magic wand to wave and make it all disappear. If you don't know how to do these things, then hire an attorney that does, who will try to get a decent outcome or plea bargain for you. If serious about doing so, feel free to contact me. Ill be happy to help you use whatever defenses you may have. If you can't afford private counsel, apply for the
    Public Defender.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/23/2010
    Jackson White, PC
    Jackson White, PC | Jeremy Geigle
    You can be charged with mailing illegal drugs if there is evidence that you did in fact mail the drugs. 18 USC 1716 deals mostly with poisons and venomous animals and not drugs. Being charged with a federal crime is serious business. It would be important to immediately contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to get some advice.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 11/23/2010
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    You should certainly hire a lawyer as this is a serious offense. Certainly you can be charged in this situation - whether they can prove it beyond a reasonable doubt is another matter.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 11/23/2010
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    As a former federal prosecutor, and currently, as a criminal defense attorney, I urge you to retain an experienced federal criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. No one can or should predict what a judge will do, but you need an attorney to discuss with you your rights and options. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 11/23/2010
    McWhirter Law Firm
    McWhirter Law Firm | Barry McWhirter
    Yes, they can charge you, but the better question is if they can convict you. They can only convict you if they have enough evidence against you. They usually try to get a lot of their evidence by interrogating you. Most people try to talk themselves out of the situation and wind up destroying any chance they have of avoiding being convicted. My advice is to not answer any of their questions. If they are going to charge you, they are going to charge you whether you answer questions or not. Don't do anything for now besides wait. If they don't have the evidence, and you do not talk to them, they will eventually go away. If they contact you about talking to them, DO NOT talk to them without a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Tennessee
    Replied: 11/22/2010
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    I assume you are charged with federal offense. You better get an attorney. Can you be charged? YES. Can they prove that you (mailed it to yourself?) conspired with another to distribute marijuana via the mail (that is the question?) I'm curious if you had a boil, the size of a grapefruit, growing out of your neck, would you be asking what you should do? NO, you would go and see a doctor. Hire an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 11/22/2010
    Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan
    Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan | Geoffrey M. Yaryan
    Circumstantially, they have a case against you. If the government can show there is no other reasonable interpretation of the facts other than guilt, then you can be convicted. I think you will need to explain why someone would send you marijuana. Your defense must be there is a reasonable explanation for someone sending you marijuana. Even if it cannot be proved that you actually sent it the government will attempt to show there was a conspiracy to violate the statute since they will claim you had someone else send it to you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/22/2010
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    es they can charge you. The question is can they convict you. You need to get an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/22/2010
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    You can be charged, but I think you can beat the case if you hire a good criminal attorney, do not talk to anyone about it, and your prints are not on the package. Call me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/22/2010
    The English Law Firm
    The English Law Firm | Robert English
    If they are charging you with it, then you could be convicted if they convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the offense.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/22/2010
    Law Office of Joseph Lamy
    Law Office of Joseph Lamy | Joseph Lamy
    You need to keep the distinction between being "charged" and being "convicted" clear in your mind. If the police feel there is sufficient evidence and reason to believe that you are in violation of a State statute then they will arrest you for that crime. If the district attorney agrees with the police and concur that a crime has been committed, the district attorney will charge you with that crime. The State does not need to be 100% sure to charge you with a crime and even when there seems to be little evidence, charges can be brought. However, with the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney you can show the weaknesses in the case and hopefully have it dismissed.

    To make a long story short... Yes, they can arrest and charge you with this crime. That does not mean, however, that you will be convicted and found guilty of this crime. I would contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away. I would be more than happy to speak with you regarding this matter. If you can not afford a private attorney, you will be assigned to the public defenders office at arraignment. Best of luck.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 11/22/2010
    Law Office of Robert L Keates, PLLC
    Law Office of Robert L Keates, PLLC | Robert Keates
    The DA would have to prove possession in some fashion, with evidence you either possessed it and mailed it (potentially by fingerprints on the packaging, etc...). They may also proceed on the (unlikely) basis of your intended possession if the package is addressed specifically to you at your home, which likely will have legal issues in your favor but they can still charge it.

    You'll need to speak with and hire a lawyer to defend this charge if it goes to court. If the DA insists on charging it, and you want to fight it, you will be headed to jury trial. I would be happy to speak to you for a free phone consultation.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 11/22/2010
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    Get a lawyer. At a minimum they can charge you with possession. You are looking at federal charges which are very serious. If you are in the Bay Area contact me. If in another area let me know and I will give you the names of good lawyers who do federal work where you are charged.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/22/2010
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    You should definately retain an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Right off the top of my head I cannot recite the elements to the crime you are being charged with, but if you are charged with mailing drugs then that would be an element they would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. If they think you mailed it to yourself then that is just downright silly. There may be more to this than what you think. That is why it is important to consult with an attorney right away. Feel free to give us a call at (517) 614-1983 for a free consultation. Best of everything to you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/22/2010
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