Defending Houston Clients Against Bank Robbery Charges
Movies glamorizing John Dillinger’s heists, Bonnie & Clyde, or wild West bank robberies entertain us, but bank robberies in real life are serious crimes. Bank robbery is a federal crime and will be investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
If you attempt to rob money from a federally insured institution such as a bank or credit union, by force or intimidation, you’ll be subject to prosecution as outlined in federal law, 18 U.S. Code § 2113.
Bank robberies investigations aren’t led by the Houston Police Department, they’re led by the FBI. If accused of bank robbery you’ll be prosecuted by prosecutors with unlimited resources, who represent the United States of America. If you were accused of bank robbery or other federal crime in Houston or elsewhere in Texas, you’ll need someone fighting hard for your liberty.
Attorney Paul Morgan is willing to confidentially review your case at no charge and be honest with you about your options. Efficaciously speaking, you might not be prosecutable. Our phone number is 713-969-5007.
Understanding Bank Robbery Offenses
The FBI has had the primary role of investigating bank robberies since John Dillinger’s spree in the early 1930’s. Today the FBI focuses on the most violent and serial offenders, and the Office of the Attorney General of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) helps prosecute those cases.
Under federal law, a bank robbery offense involves the use of force, violence or intimidation to remove money or any other thing of value from a federally insured institution. The three main types of federally insured institutions are banks, credit unions and savings & loans. Robberies, including larceny, are prosecuted under different criminal classifications and federal sentencing guidelines.
Enhanced Robbery Charges and Aggravating Circumstances
The core elements of enhanced robbery charges are use of a weapon, violence, coercion or verbal threats of death. It is important to note that you don’t have to have used an actual weapon to commit robbery.
If you had a toy gun in the pocket of your rain coat and pointed it at a teller or bank security officer, and your gestures caused fear of death, you’ll face an enhanced robbery charge. It doesn’t matter that you used a toy. The reality in the eyes of the court was its effectiveness in creating fear and allowing you to remove money or something of value from the bank.
Criminal Penalties for Bank Robbery
The court and jury use Federal Sentencing Guidelines when determining the appropriate penalty for persons convicted of bank robbery. Five main factors are weighed in the process:
- The use of a weapon,
- The amount of money stolen,
- The nature and frequency of the offense,
- The previous criminal history of the defendant, and
- The occurrence of aggravating factors during the crime.
As the judge and jury examine the specific robbery before it, the guidelines outlined below guide their deliberations in how to sentence the perpetrator for their bank robbery attempt:
- Removing anything of value from a bank less than $1,000 is fined and subject to a prison sentence of one year or less,
- Removing anything whose value exceeds $1,000 is also fined and carries a maximum prison time of not more than 10 years, or both
- Using force, violence or intimidation to take property, money or anything else of value carries a fine and a federal prison sentence up to 20 years.
- Concealing, accepting or receiving stolen bank property can be penalized by a fine and a federal prison sentence of up to 10 years.
- Assaulting, or putting the life of any person in jeopardy by use of a dangerous weapon (aggravated bank robbery), carries a 25 year federal prison sentence.
- A bank robbery involving a kidnapping or death is punishable by a life sentence or the death penalty.
Get Started Quickly. Contact Attorney Paul Morgan.
Federal defense lawyer Paul Morgan is available to meet with you discuss your case 7 days a week. He’ll review your case at no charge and help you determine where you stand. Even if you haven’t been charged, but believe you might be the subject of a federal investigation, you’ll need legal representation to defend you against unlawful searches and evidence collection.
Allowing Attorney Paul Morgan to conduct an independent assessment of your case is the best way to get started defending your name, future, and freedom. The Paul Morgan Law Office, PLLC has a history of winning impossible cases due to a meticulous review of the investigating and arresting officers, the evidence, and potential jurors.