Bank Robbery

18 U.S.C. § 2113 - Bank Robbery and Incidental Crimes

Federal bank robbery is defined under 18 U.S.C. 2113 as part of a comprehensive law expanded to include other theft crimes. Under this statute, federal bank robbery is generally described as taking or attempted taking by force any property or money belonging to any bank or credit union.

18 U.S.C. 2113 also covers the robbery of an armored truck or bank messenger, a night depository, and an automatic teller machine (ATM).

18 U.S.C. § 2113 - Bank Robbery and Incidental Crimes
Bank robbery is generally defined as taking any money or property from a bank by the use of force.

Further, this law covers a scenario when a perpetrator enters, or attempts to enter, a financial institution intending to commit a felony that affects the institution violating any United States law. 

18 U.S.C. 2113 says, ”(a) Whoever, by force and violence, or by intimidation, takes, or attempts to take, from the person or presence of another, or obtains or attempts to obtain by extortion any property or money or any other thing of value belonging to, or in the care, custody, control, management, or possession of, any bank, credit union, or any savings and loan association; or

Whoever enters or attempts to enter any bank, credit union, savings and loan association, or building used in whole or part…. with intent to commit any felony… and in violation of any statute of the United States, or any larceny….”

(b) Whoever takes and carries away, with intent to steal or purloin, any property or money or any other thing of value exceeding $1,000 belonging to, or in the care, custody, control, management, or possession of any bank, credit union, or any savings and loan association, shall be….”

As noted, this statute covers a broader scope of felony conduct when a bank is a victim.  Let's review this federal law further below.

What Are the Lesser Included Offenses?

18 U.S.C. 2113 also covers the lesser-included offense of taking away money or valuables within a bank but without the force or fear element typically found in a traditional federal bank robbery.

This lesser-included offense carries up to one year in federal prison and applies to any perpetrator that does the following:

  • Receives,
  • Possesses,
  • Conceals, or
  • Disposes of stolen property that was taken from the bank.

For example, suppose a perpetrator informs a teller they have a gun and to give them the money, which is done without any resistance.

Lesser Included Offenses for Bank Robbery
Lesser-includes offenses include receiving, possessing, or concealing stolen property from a bank.

This is an example of a traditional federal bank robbery and carries a sentence of up to 20 years in the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Suppose a perpetrator approaches a teller and notices they are distracted with other work. So, they reach over the counter, grab a stack of money, and leave the bank.

In this example, the perpetrator could still face charges under 18 U.S.C. 2113 federal bank robbery.

However, the penalties for a lesser-included offense carry only up to one year in prison because no force or fear was used to steal the money.

What Are the Related Federal Laws?

18 U.S. Code Chapter 103 Robbery and Burglary has several federal statutes that are related to 18 U.S.C. 2113 bank robbery, including the following:

  • 18 U.S.C. 2111 – Special maritime and territorial jurisdiction;
  • 18 U.S.C. 2112 – Personal property of United States;
  • 18 U.S.C. 2113(a) – Federal burglary or larceny;
  • 18 U.S.C. 2113(c) – Receipt of stolen bank property;
  • 18 U.S.C. 2113(d) – Assault with a deadly weapon;
  • 18 U.S.C. 2114 – Mail, money, or other property of United States;
  • 18 U.S.C. 2115 – Post office;
  • 18 U.S.C. 2116 – Railway or steamboat post office;
  • 18 U.S.C. 2117 – Breaking or entering carrier facilities;
  • 18 U.S.C. 2118 – Robberies and burglaries involving controlled substances;
  • 18 U.S.C. 2119 – Motor vehicles (carjacking);
  • 18 U.S.C. 371 – Federal conspiracy statute.

What Are the Penalties for 18 U.S.C. 2113?

Suppose you are found guilty of federal bank robbery. In that case, you will face the following penalties under the federal sentencing guidelines:

  • Up to 20 years in federal prison;
  • A fine of up to $250,000 or both

However, the penalties will increase to up to 25 years in prison under the following circumstances:

  • You used violence to accomplish the bank robbery;
  • You assaulted someone in the commission of the bank robbery,
  • You put someone's life in danger with the use of a deadly weapon or device.

Further, suppose someone was forcibly moved (kidnapped) or killed during the bank robbery or the escape. In that case, you will face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years; the maximum penalty is life in prison or death. 

What Are the Defenses for 18 U.S.C. 2113?

Suppose you have been accused of federal bank robbery. In that case, our federal criminal defense attorneys could use different strategies to obtain the best possible outcome, as discussed below.

Perhaps we can argue that there was no force, violence, or intimidation. Maybe we could say for a lesser-included offense with lighter penalties, such as taking property or money from the bank or financial institution, but not bank robbery.

Defenses for Federal Bank Robbery
Contact our federal defense attorneys for help.

Perhaps we can argue that the institution is not a bank credit union or savings and loan association as defined under 18 USC 2113(f)-(h).

Perhaps we can argue that you are the victim of mistaken identity. Maybe we can show that the real bank robber was wearing a disguise or mask, and there is insufficient evidence that you were the perpetrator.

Finally, if the institution robbed was not a bank or credit union defined under 18 U.S.C. 2113(f)-(h), you should not be guilty of federal bank robbery.

If your guilt of bank robbery is not in doubt, perhaps we can negotiate with the federal prosecutor for a favorable plea bargain.

To review the case details and legal options, contact us by phone or using the contact form. The Hedding Law Firm is located in Los Angeles, CA.

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