Let’s get real for a minute – federal bank robbery charges can wreak havoc on your life faster than you can say “getaway car.” That said, first and foremost, no one should commit bank robbery at all costs. Crime doesn’t pay, folks. But sometimes, people find themselves in unfortunate situations and make mistakes.
If you or someone you know is facing federal bank robbery charges, you must grasp the legal process and your rights without delay. Take your time! Hiring an experienced federal bank robbery defense lawyer should be your first step if you want to have a chance at legally defending yourself.
What is Federal Bank Robbery?
As per the FBI, a federal bank robbery happens when someone forcibly takes property from a bank or its customers using intimidation, violence, or extortion.
Committing a federal bank robbery involves stealing from a bank with FDIC insurance, which applies to most banks in the United States. If caught engaging in such activities, the consequences can be severe, resulting in significant criminal charges.
Let’s be clear – federal bank robbery is no minor offense. If convicted, you can expect to spend as much as 20 years or even more behind bars. Still, the severity of your sentence depends on factors like how many people did the crime and whether weapons (especially deadly, high-caliber ones) were employed during the theft.
These elements play a significant role in determining the potential consequences one may face in the legal process. Understanding the potential consequences one may face if found guilty is crucial. You will also face hefty fines (upwards of $250k) and mandatory restitution payments made directly to the victims impacted by the crime.
Understandably, this kind of punishment could severely affect your prospects, such as securing employment, applying for loans, renting an apartment, having social acceptance, etc.
Therefore, it’s essential that if you’ve been charged with this crime—or even if you suspect that charges might be on their way—you should start putting together your legal defense strategy immediately.
Navigating the Legal Process
One of the most overwhelming aspects of facing federal bank robbery charges is dealing with the legal system. It can feel like you’re drowning in paperwork, hearings, and court dates. That’s where having an experienced federal bank robbery defense attorney comes into play.
Search Warrants & Arrests
If you’re suspected or charged with federal bank robbery, law enforcement authorities have likely issued a search warrant for your home or other property under your control. This warrant enables them to inspect to gather evidence against you, which will later be produced in court as evidence if you get arrested. During these times, staying calm and composed while keeping quiet would be advantageous. Any statement made during this time could be used against one during the trial.
Arraignment & Bail Hearing
Arraignment follows soon after being arrested for bank robbery, typically within hours, if not minutes, after arrest. The criminal defendant appears before a magistrate judge for the initial appearance, usually within 24 hours after being picked up.
Expect that only in specific circumstances could bail be granted, considering the nature of the offense, prior criminal history, and the likelihood of the individual trying to run or bust out of prison. It’s important to note that bail is not always guaranteed and is determined on a case-by-case basis. The critical point here is if bail is granted, one must honor all conditions imposed by the mandate; otherwise, they risk being taken back into custody.
A preliminary hearing was usually held relatively quickly (often within ten days but sometimes thirty). At this hearing, the prosecution must prove there’s enough “probable cause” — or reasonable belief — that a defendant committed a crime and was done well enough without much trouble.
Trial and Sentencing
Federal trials are complex because attorneys must establish their cases based on solid legal arguments and evidence. An excellent federal bank robbery defense lawyer is essential to ensure that your rights are protected throughout this process.
Sentencing in a federal bank robbery case can be particularly harsh and long-lasting, imprisonment for varying years with heavy fines of hundreds of thousands (upwards of 200-250k just as fines). The individuals convicted might also face additional legal punishment such as probation, etc.
Federal bank robbery should never be taken lightly, as it could carry substantial prison time, hefty fines, and possible life-changing consequences. But it’s important to remember that you have rights throughout the legal process, so seeking out an experienced federal bank robbery defense lawyer will be one of the most important things you’ll ever do if you or someone you love finds yourselves facing this type of charge.