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The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

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The Federal Crime of Bank Robbery – 18 U.S.C. § 2113

By Spodek Law Group | February 14, 2023
(Last Updated On: July 28, 2023)

Last Updated on: 28th July 2023, 07:22 pm

A Peek Into The Thrill-Ride That is Federal Bank Robbery

In the intriguing world of bank robbery, the stakes are high and the penalties stiff. You see, there’s this nifty piece of legislature called Title 18, Section 2113 in the United States Code that gives robbery, specifically bank robbery, its status as a federal crime.

Believe it or not, the reach of this statute extends beyond just banks! It covers armoured trucks, bank messengers, ATMs and even vaults that keep dropping their treasures at night (that’s night depositories for the uninitiated).

Sure, a classic case of holding up a bank teller with a firearm grabs all the headlines, but the law catches a wider scope of shady dealing where a bank’s the unfortunate victim. Let’s not forget the big brother of bank heists, hostage-taking, keeping corners warm under 18 U.S.C. § 1203.

The Costs of Bank Robbery: Do Time or Fork out the Dimes?

Bank robbing isn’t a hobby, my friend. It’s a federal offence and it lands you in the deep end – you’re looking at up to 20 years in federal prison, a fine reaching $250,000, or both, if you’re really out of luck.

Does your heist have a violent streak? Well, the penalties only get tougher. If you’re trigger-happy or you put someone in harm’s way with a weapon or explosive, you’re served with 25 years, federal style. God forbid, the situation escalates, and someone kicks the bucket, or (gulp) you kidnap someone during the course of the robbery or your getaway. Now, you’ll be stuck with a minimum prison sentence of ten years, and at the worst, face a life sentence or even the death penalty.

Getting Away Lighter on Bank Robbery Offenses

But wait, there’s a bit of a silver lining. Seemingly dwarfed by the heavyweight charges commonly associated with bank robbery, there’s a lesser offence covered under 18 U.S.C. § 2113 where you can potentially serve up to a year in federal prison. It’s applicable if your thieving exploits were free of force or fear and doesn’t exclude anyone who’s in the handling, hiding, or disposal of stolen bank property.

Don’t Be Fooled! Bank Robbery is More Than Just Theft

Bank robbery doesn’t stop at smuggling some dough out of a vault. There’s the menacing intent to harm, the threatening use of weapons, the psychological trauma of intimidation. In a nutshell, it’s heavy stuff, and with federal charges entering the mix, things get pretty gnarly.

What separates bank robbery from its private counterparts is the risks involved and the potential reward it promises. Banks, being federal entities heavily marinated in interstate commerce, are automatic targets for federal offences.

The Varying Shades of Bank Robbery Charges

The US codes and laws have a broad spectrum of robbery crimes under their jurisdiction. Your punishment is determined by a plethora of factors including the nature of the crime, the amount you rolled off with, and your modus operandi while committing the crime.

Even if you just step into a bank with felonious intent or aim to lift some assets, you’re looking at a potential 20-year prison sentence and a possible fine. If you add assault to your crime or jeapordize someone’s safety, you might just earn yourself 25 years in prison and some extra fines.

In the likelihood, heavens forbid, that you cause the death of someone, or abduct an individual or injuries that result in death afterwards, your sentence will take a massive turn for the worse, likely ending up in the realms of life imprisonment or a death sentence.

What Not to Look Forward to in Bank Robbery Consequences

Robberies, specifically bank robberies, often involve multiple bad deeds committed in unison. You could be looking at kidnapping, assault, intentional harm, battery, and in the worst cases, murder. It’s seldom a one-person show, so the plot only thickens.

Finances take a hit too. Depending on the level of crime committed, you’re potentially losing out on anything from as low as $1,000 to tens of thousands of dollars, accompanied by a substantial stretch of prison time.

Several factors could determine the gravity of your sentencing, like your criminal background, the amount of your ill-gotten gains, the nature of your associated illegal acts and the victims shattered by your deeds. Throw a weapon in the mix, and you’re asking for trouble. These victims could also slap you with civil lawsuits, hurting where it hurts most: the wallet.

If you’re caught in the ominous shadow of federal charges for bank robbery, it’s crucial to get some legal help. That’s where my good pal, Todd Spodek, and the legal virtuosos of the Spodek Law Group come in. They could help you navigate these legal white waters and attempt to negotiate a deal to shave some sting off the situation.

Under the guidance of Spodek and his team, you could understand the gravity of the charges you’re facing and get a grip on the potential consequences after conviction.

Let’s say you walk into a bank, teller and marshals at your mercy with a gun, and order the teller to shovel money in a bag. He obliges out of sheer fear. This situation landed you in the classic, textbook case of federal bank robbery under 18 U.S.C. § 2113, translated into a prison sentence of at least 20 years.

But let’s switch it up a bit. You see some unattended cash near the teller’s window, grab it, and scoot off without breaking a sweat or causing a stir. Even though you didn’t use force or fear, you’re still looking at federal bank robbery charges, but for a lesser offence with a maximum of a year in prison.

The Extended Family of Bank Robbery Statutes

Besides the ones discussed, there are a few more related federal bank robbery statutes worth mentioning. 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a) deals with federal burglary or larceny, 18 U.S.C. § 2113(c) covers the receipt of stolen bank property, and let’s not forget 18 U.S.C. § 2113(d) which handles cases of assault with a deadly weapon.

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