Do I have to obey out of state laws? 26 Answers as of June 09, 2013

If a state law bans possession of an item can a retailer from another state (where item is legal to distribute) be convicted of a crime if he ships that item to the state with the ban law?

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Austin Legal Services, PLC
Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
You have to obey the laws of all states that you are in and subject to their jurisdiction. If it is illegal to buy or possession an item in a state, then you cannot possess it if that is what the law states. The mailing issue is federal and you would need to speak to a federal defense attorney about that. If in doubt, don't do it.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/24/2011
Law Office of Phillip Weiser
Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
Charges are possible if a retailer ships a prohibited item into a state which prohibits it, yes. Always check to be sure of the legality of an item before you send it or bring it across the state lines.
Answer Applies to: Kansas
Replied: 8/22/2011
Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
Yes. You cannot violate the law by shipping to a state where items are banned. Doing so may result in criminal charges.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 8/19/2011
Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
Thank you for your inquiry Knowingly violating a law of another state can be a crime. The question becomes one of obtaining jurisdiction through extradition or otherwise. It may also federalize a case, causing possible greater penalties. Therefore, the short answer is yes, because a charge can be possible where a person is placing something in the stream of commerce to another state, and the situation may not lend itself to a claim of ignorance of the laws of the state. The general rule is: Ignorance of the Law Is Not A Defense. I hope that this was helpful.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/19/2011
Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
I would need further information to answer better but generally yes you have to obey Federal Law and state law. In this case Federal law is involved because of interstate commerce between 2 different states.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 8/19/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    Your summary asks if you can ship an item to a state if that item is"illegal" in that state. You would be guilty of a federal and a state crime if you ship an item to a state where it is illegal to sell or possess it. This would be true for hash pipes, switchblade knives, medical marijuana, and other items that are illegal in some states but not others.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/19/2011
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
    Yes, the person shipping could be charged in the State banning the material.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/19/2011
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    The retailer could be charged, if they have any connection to the receiving state. Additionally if the item is prohibited federally then the retailer could be charged with a federal crime involving interstate commerce. It is hard to answer your query without more information. I would be pleased to speak with you about this matter.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 8/19/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    If something is shipped from a state where it is legal into a state where it is not legal there would be a charge for unlawful possession to the person who received the item and unlawful distribution to the person who sent the item. The case could be a federal case if the U.S. mails are used as well as the fact that the item was transported in interstate commerce. If someone ships an item that is not legal in their particular state to a state where it is legal, that person who ships it and the person who receives it can be charged with unlawful distribution. The case could be federal if the U.S. mails are used. Both parties could also be charged with conspiracy to transport for purposes of unlawful distribution.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/19/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    I don't fully understand the question. It probably would depend on the item.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/19/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Generally no, the illegality applies to the one possessing them in state. However, sometimes a federal or state law specifically makes it illegal to ship certain items, for instance guns and other contraband, but that is a case by case issue. You'll need to consult with counsel about your specific facts and issues if you want a useable opinion.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/19/2011
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    Yes. You are a party to the unlawful possession of the illegal item in the state that has banned it.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/19/2011
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C.
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C. | Michael Morgan
    You can't ship an item into a state knowing it is contraband in that state.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/19/2011
    A.L.A. Law Group, LLP
    A.L.A. Law Group, LLP | Lauren M. Mayfield
    It depends on what the statute says. Often items that are banned also have a ban against distribution of that item in the banned state. If there is a ban on distribution you could be criminally charged and face jail or fines.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/19/2011
    The English Law Firm
    The English Law Firm | Robert English
    Knowingly shipping an item to a state where is is illegal would likely be aiding and abetting criminal activity and would constitute an offense.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Yes, because he knowingly shipped to a state where the item is unlawful.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum | Edward J. Blum
    If the law prohibits possession and you possess it within the borders of the state that prohibits possession, you can still be charged with possession. It doesn't matter about the seller (what he did was legal where he is located).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    I would say yes.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/9/2013
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC | Rankin Johnson IV
    Yes. If you, a Washingtonian, send fireworks that are legal in Washington to Oregon, where they are illegal, you could be prosecuted in Oregon. If you shipped the fireworks from Washington, where they're legal, to Idaho, where they're legal, and they passed through Oregon without your knowledge, then probably not. (Fireworks probably also have federal requirements relating to shipping, but I'm not talking about that).
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    Yes because you are trying to break the State's laws. Getting you and prosecuting you might be a problem, unless they catch you in the State or they could ask to have you extradited to their State.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Frances R. Johnson
    Frances R. Johnson | Frances R. Johnson
    I don't know. This would be a federal law question. Try re-submitting and requesting an attorney with experience with federal criminal law defense/prosecution.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    John Segelbaum, P.S.
    John Segelbaum, P.S. | John Segelbaum
    Depending on the wording of the law. Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    Yes and the person receiving said item can also face prosecution.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/18/2011
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