Bank robbery has been a staple of the American criminal scene for hundreds of years. People rob banks because they’re full of money. Even as banks and banking systems become more sophisticated, bank robberies still occur. It’s important to note that although bank robberies essentially consist of going into a bank and demanding money through the threat of violence, there are a variety of different circumstances that can lead to a charge of bank robbery or other additional charges. If you or somebody you love has been charged with bank robbery, it’s important to speak with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case.
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Elements of a Bank Robbery
We’re all familiar with what a bank robbery looks like. We’ve seen them in dozens of movies and television shows. It’s important to note that a few specific elements have to be present in order for a certain crime to be considered a bank robbery. First, there must be a presence of a gun or other type of weapon (or the implication of a weapon). Also, there has to be a threat of injury or death. Finally, money has to be stolen. While you might think it’s okay because nobody got hurt, the eyes of the law might see differently.
Elements That Can Impact Your Case
- Injury or death to others during the crime
- Use of firearms or other weapons
- Use of stolen vehicle
- History of priors
- Number of victims
- Amount of money taken
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What if There Was no Weapon Present?
A bank can be robbed with or without a weapon. In fact, all there needs to be is the implication of a weapon or the threat of violence to satisfy one of the main elements of a bank robbery. Often times, we see banks or other locations robbed with threatening notes. There might not be a weapon in the area, but the note alludes to one. Similarly, it’s possible for banks to be robbed with the implication of a weapon under one’s shirt or somewhere on one’s body. The criminal justice system looks at this in much the same way as it does a bank robbery where an actual weapon was present. It’s also important to note that when actual weapons are present, you could be facing steeper penalties or additional charges.
What if Somebody Was Injured or Killed?
Hopefully, nobody was injured or killed in the robbery you’re being charged with, but what if somebody was hurt or killed? You could be facing additional charges, and even potentially felony murder charges. You don’t actually have to have been the one to pull the trigger or directly contribute to a person’s injury or death. Simply being involved with a felony where somebody dies (whether intentionally or not) can set you up for serious additional charges and potentially severe penalties. If somebody was injured or killed during the robbery you’re being accused of being apart of, you need to seek immediate legal help from a criminal defense attorney with experience in handling bank robbery cases.
What Constitutes a “Bank”
Banking has undergone so many changes over the past few decades. We’re seeing more and more banks and financial institutions turn to online and kiosk services. It’s important to note that a bank robbery can take place at a variety of different locations that offer banking or financial services. This includes loan associations, savings associations and credit unions.
Felony Bank Robbery
Bank robbery is a felony. This means you can expect to spend more than one year in a federal correctional facility, if convicted. In many cases, you could be looking at a minimum of five years or more behind bars, especially if anybody was hurt or if you’re looking at additional charges. Having prior convictions might also have an extreme impact on the penalties you’re facing. Listed below are some additional penalties associated with bank robbery convictions.
Penalties Associated With Bank Robbery
- Monetary fines
- Loss of professional licenses
- Loss of rights
When to Call a Bank Robbery Attorney in Jackson
Bank robbery charges are nothing to take lightly. If you or somebody you love is facing bank robbery charges in the Jackson Metro Area or in any of the surrounding communities, call the experienced and proven team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 265-7766 for an immediate case consultation. You’re future and your freedom are on the line, and time is of the essence. The sooner you get to work on your defense, the better potential outcome you could be facing.