Bank robbery is a crime most people are familiar with – not because they’ve perpetrated it, but because
it’s seen so much on television and in movies. In fact, you may think it is a crime that doesn’t occur very
much in modern times, but that assumption would be wrong.
Bank robbery is alive and well in Texas and the United States. In fact, a man who is believed to have
committed a string of bank robberies across several states, including Texas, was just recently sentenced
to 10 years in federal prison for aggravated bank robbery.
How serious is a bank robbery and is it always a federal crime? These are interesting questions, and the
answers are right here.
Bank Robbery in Texas
Bank robbery is generally considered to be the act of attempting to take or take money, property, or
anything valuable from a credit union, savings and loan association, or bank.
Charges for bank robbery can be brought in both state and federal courts – it depends on the specifics of
the case itself.
It is often charged as a federal crime, because credit unions and banks are insured by the federal
government. However, it can also be charged as a federal crime when it involves crossing state lines.
Federal convictions are usually more severe than they would be in a state court, as well – and the
federal government has a very successful rate of conviction when it comes to prosecuting bank robbers.
Bank Robbery is a Felony
Under both state and federal law, bank robbery is a felony charge. Those who are found guilty of this
crime in federal court will face penalties that vary. The value of the property taken, whether or not a
weapon was used when the crime was committed, and whether any bystanders were injured or taken
hostage will also influence the sentencing.
In some cases, prison sentences may be a year or less – but in some cases, a person can go to prison for
a year or more. In cases where someone is killed during or in the aftermath of a bank robbery, like when
the perpetrator is attempting to flee authorities, then life in prison may be on the table.
It’s also important to note that bank robbery is a crime that can bring conspiracy charges, too. If two or
more people were involved in the planning of the robbery, then they can be charged with conspiracy
even if the planners never followed through. They simply need to have agreed to commit the crime, and
at least one of the people involved had to take steps to further the crime.
Defenses to Bank Robbery
No matter what you are charged with in this country, you have the right to defend yourself against
charges in court. There are defenses people generally use in bank robbery cases, such as:
● The alleged perpetrator did not intend to rob the bank
● The alleged perpetrator was under duress when they committed the crime
● Someone else committed the crime
If you are facing serious charges such as bank robbery, whether it’s in state or federal court, you need an
attorney to help fight for you. Make sure to look for someone to represent you who has experience not
only in defending bank robbery – but also experience with the federal court system.