Bank Robbery Defense in Houston: Brazoria, Ft. Bend, Galveston, Harris & Montgomery Counties
Bank robbery is one of the most familiar crimes in the country. The robberies of banks have been portrayed in films, books and on television. Although bank theft and the people who perpetrate this crime are sometimes glamorized in the media, robbing a bank is a federal-level crime with very serious consequences.
Because nearly every bank in the country is insured by the federal government under Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) regulations, the commission of a robbery crime at a bank is investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by federal officials. The punishments for bank theft can vary based upon several factors.
Penalties for Robbing a Bank
In most cases, the person convicted of the theft crime will receive a sentence based on how much money was stolen, whether or not a weapon was used in the commission of the crime and whether or not anyone was hurt or killed. Some potential penalties are:
- The theft of a financial institution in which less than $1,000 was stolen can bring a sentence of up to one year in jail, provided that the convicted offender did not threaten or hurt anyone during the theft.
- Theft of more than $1,000 that was not accompanied by threats or physical injury can potentially bring a sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison.
- The robbery of a credit union or banking institution that involved a threat can be upgraded to a more severe criminal classification no matter how much money was stolen. This is true even if the bank robber handed a note to the teller that contained threatening language. These circumstances can lead to a Class C felony charge that can mean a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison.
- Robberies that involve the use of a weapon or dangerous device to intimidate or threaten are upgraded to Class B felonies, punishable by up to 25 years in federal prison.
- The most serious penalties are utilized if anyone was killed during the commission of the crime. This offense may be punished with a death sentence.
Because most financial institutions use surveillance cameras and dyes that mark stolen money, some people think that defending against bank theft charges is impossible. However, this is not necessarily true.
A bank robbery attorney can work to ensure that the defendant’s rights are protected. For example, if evidence against the suspect was obtained without a search warrant or in an illegal manner, the defense attorney may be able to have that evidence deemed inadmissible in court.
Schedule a Meeting With a Bank Robbery Lawyer in Houston, TX
To find out about additional legal defenses for this crime, talk to Greg Tsioros at (832) 752-5972.