Bank Robbery Defense Attorney
in Fort Myers
Let David Joffe mount a potent defense on your behalf
People often joke about robbing a bank. In reality, bank robbery is a crime that doesn’t pay. Bank robbery is a state and federal crime. Therefore, anyone who is accused of robbing a Fort Myers bank may face federal and state charges for a single event. If you or someone you know has been accused of bank robbery, a Fort Myers bank robbery defense lawyer can provide legal representation and help you build a case for your defense.
Bank robbery as a federal offense
In every state, bank robbery is a federal offense. The federal government has jurisdiction over all robberies that target protected financial institutions. Not only do banks generally engage in interstate commerce, but banks are also treated as public policy. An agency created by Congress, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation insures the monetary deposits at banks and other financial institutions. The FDIC also examines and supervises banks and other financial institutions to ensure they operate safely and in a sound manner that protects consumers. Nearly all public banks, private banks, and credit unions are supervised by the FDIC and carry the agency’s insurance for their customer’s accounts. Therefore, the federal government takes great interest in crimes that affect banks and other financial institutions.
Bank robbery defined by Florida & federal law
In Fort Myers, bank robbery laws differ slightly from the federal law definition of the offense. Florida does not have a specific law that addresses bank robbery. Instead, bank robbery cases are covered by the state’s general robbery statute. Federal law directly defines bank robbery as:
- using force to take money or property that is in the custody of a covered financial institution (banks, loans, credit unions, savings and loan institutions
- taking money or property from an armored truck, night depository, or ATM
- entering a financial institution with the intention of engaging in any other theft or felony that would affect the financial institution
The federal bank robbery statute specifically includes traditional forms of bank robbery in which the perpetrator enters the bank with a weapon. Many might be surprised to learn that federal law also includes other criminal acts in its definition of bank robbery.
Do not say anything that might incriminate you. Speak with an attorney first.
Bank robbery-related federal offenses
Taking money or property from a bank without the use of force is a federal crime of lesser severity. The lesser offense is punishable by up to one year in federal prison. Individuals who receive, conceal, or dispose of stolen money or property taken from a financial institution may also be charged with the lesser offense described in the federal bank robbery statute.
The federal statute also identifies related crimes that occur as a result of bank robbery. They are:
- burglary or larceny
- receiving stolen bank property
- assault with a deadly weapon
- federal conspiracy
Federal burglary or larceny
The federal bank robbery statute specifically prohibits the act of forcefully or violently entering or attempting to enter a bank to engage in a felonious act. Therefore, an individual who breaks into a bank can be charged under the bank robbery statute even if he or she does not actually rob the bank. Larceny is the unlawful taking of personal property that belongs to a person or business. An individual who steals money from a bank through any means may be charged with federal larceny because banks hold money that belongs to other people and businesses.
Receipt of stolen bank property
Receipt of stolen property is most often a state offense. However, if the stolen property comes from a bank, the individual will most likely face a federal charge. People who receive stolen goods do not have to have been present at the scene of the crime. These individuals may be friends or family members who knowingly receive the proceeds from a bank robbery as a gift. They may be participants in a criminal organization that share the proceeds of the bank robbery. In any case, a person who knowingly receives stolen money or property from a bank may be charged and convicted under federal law.
Federal assault with a deadly weapon
Bank robbery often involves the use of a deadly weapon to make threats at people who may act to stop a bank robbery. Although the physical threat is a part of the bank robbery process, bank robbery defendants can also be charged separately for the element of assault. Some bank robberies do not involve the use of a deadly weapon. Those that do are likely to result in the defendant facing an elevated charge for implementing a deadly weapon.
Planning a bank robbery can land a defendant in federal prison. Federal law defines conspiracy against the U.S. as two or more people planning to commit an act that is a crime under the federal legal code. In some cases, the FBI or another federal agency may receive a tip that leads to the discovery of a plan to rob a bank. The individuals who are involved with the plot may each be charged with one or more federal crimes, including conspiracy. A simple agreement is not enough evidence to support a conviction for conspiracy. At least one of the conspirators must also take at least one step to further the illegal plan.
Federal bank robbery defense lawyer in Fort Myers
A serious charge like federal bank robbery requires the help of an experienced attorney. Our Fort Myers federal defense lawyers represent defendants against state and federal charges. We devote the required time, energy, and resources to each client with the goal of achieving the best outcome. When a case calls for extensive knowledge of the federal court system and a proven track record of winning, we are always ready to rise to the occasion.
Contact us to learn more about possible defenses against federal bank robbery. Our courteous team will conduct a preliminary interview to get the facts of your case. Give us a call to receive a free consultation!