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Bank Robbery

Those who are charged with bank robbery face serious federal penalties, including a prison sentence of up to 20 years. Having the guidance of an experienced criminal defense attorney can be crucial to the outcome of these types of cases, so if you were arrested for bank robbery, you should contact a federal crimes attorney who can help you formulate a defense.

Defining Bank Robbery

Bank robbery is defined by federal law as taking or attempting to take by force, violence, or extortion, property, money, or other valuables that are in the care, custody, or possession of a bank, credit union, or savings and loan association. Even entering or attempting to enter a building that is used in whole or in part as a bank with the intent to commit a felony could lead to a prison sentence of up to 20 years.

Anyone charged with taking any property or money that is in the possession of a bank or other financial institution, with the intent to steal it, can be sentenced to up to ten years in prison if the property was worth more than $100. If the value of the property was below $100, the sentence will be reduced to one year. Receiving, possessing, concealing, or selling anything of value taken from a bank is also punishable by a ten year prison sentence.

Use of a Weapon

If a person assaults another or puts someone else’s life in jeopardy by using a dangerous weapon while committing a bank robbery, he or she could receive a 25 year prison sentence. This is true even if the defendant used a toy weapon or a fake bomb. In the event that a person loses his or her life during a robbery or is forcibly abducted during the event, the defendants will face a minimum of ten years in prison. However, if death results, the sentence will be increased to life. This provision also applies to situations where the defendant was attempting to avoid apprehension or arrest.


In order to qualify as a bank robbery, the incident must have occurred at a financial institution that satisfies the statute’s definition of a bank, which includes:

  • Any member bank of the Federal Reserve System;
  • Any other banking association, trust company, or savings bank that operates under U.S. laws, including branches of foreign banks; and
  • Institutions in which the deposits are insured by the FDIC.

Other possible defenses include:

  • Mistaken identity;
  • Insufficient evidence; and
  • The value of the property stolen is less than $100.

To learn more about the defenses you could raise in your own case, you should speak with a criminal defense attorney who can explain your options.

Call a Florida Federal Crimes Attorney to Discuss Your Case Today

If you were recently arrested for or charged with a robbery, please contact Jeffrey S. Weiner, P.A., Criminal Defense Attorneys at (305) 670-9919 to schedule a free consultation with a dedicated Miami federal crimes attorney. You can also reach us by sending a brief online message.



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