Will I Go to Federal Prison for Robbing a Bank? 

Posted on in Federal Crimes

chicago robbery defense lawyerAt the end of July of this year, an Illinois woman was arrested and charged with aggravated robbery for robbing a bank in Bloomington, IL. While her trial has yet to take place, she will likely face harsh federal consequences if convicted. This is because the vast majority of banks are covered by a federal law making robbery a federal crime. So if you have been busted robbing a bank, will you go to federal prison? If you are convicted, you almost certainly will. Read on to learn more and then contact an Illinois federal criminal defense lawyer for help. 

Is Every Bank Robbery a Federal Crime? 

Every bank that is part of the Federal Reserve System is covered by a 1934 law that makes it a federal crime to rob any member bank. The vast majority of banks in the United States are member banks of the Federal Reserve System because their deposits are insured by the federal government. This protects customers from the kind of losses they experienced during the Great Depression, but it also means that crimes committed in banks are covered under federal law as well as state law. 

Is Robbing an ATM Considered Bank Robbery? 

When someone steals or tries to steal any property of a bank, credit union, or savings and loan association, they have committed a bank robbery. One does not have to hold a teller at gunpoint and demand a bank vault be opened for bank robbery to occur; taking any property from a bank or similar institution is bank robbery as well. This includes: 

  • ATMs

  • Armored money transport vehicles 

  • Night deposit boxes 

  • Forcing a person to withdraw money from a bank and stealing it

What is the Penalty for a Federal Bank Robbery Conviction? 

Convictions for basic federal bank robbery crimes allow up to 20 years in federal prison, fines up to $250,000, or both. If someone was killed or their life was jeopardized, such as if a dangerous weapon was involved in the commission of the crime, the penalties can be increased. 

Schedule a Consultation with an Illinois Federal Criminal Defense Attorney

Federal convictions change your life forever. With the help of an experienced Chicago federal criminal defense attorney, you can build a strong defense against the charges against you and increase your chances of walking free. Call our offices 24/7 at 312-629-0669 to schedule your free initial consultation and tell us more about your case. 



Back to Top