If you have been charged with bank robbery in Texas, you probably realize that you have been charged with a serious offense, and the consequences for a conviction will have lifelong impacts. Criminal defense attorneys at Vinas & Graham, PLLC, are experienced federal crimes attorneys who fight to protect their clients’ rights.
In general, bank robbery is defined as taking or attempting to take property, money, or anything of value from a bank, credit union, or any savings and loan association. See below for more details and information that you need to know about bank robbery and other federal crimes charges.
State Or Federal Crime
General robbery charges may be brought in state or federal courts, depending on case-specific details. Bank robbery may also be charged at the state or federal level; however, it is more often charged as a federal crime, especially when federal agents perceive a threat to the public and state lines have been crossed. The conviction rate is generally higher in federal court, and penalties are typically more severe for federal criminal convictions.
Felony Bank Robbery Charges
Bank robbery is considered a felony under state and federal law, and if you are found guilty of robbing a bank, you will have a felony conviction on your record. Felony convictions in Texas have major consequences that will impact your rights, including voting rights, firearm ownership, and possession, holding public office, and serving on a jury. Felony convictions can also limit your employment prospects and eligibility.
Bank Robbery Sentencing
Defendants convicted on federal bank robbery charges will be punished according to the federal sentencing guidelines. Penalties will depend on specific factors such as the value of the property taken, the use of weapons during the commission of the crime, and if any victims were taken hostage or injured during the commission of the crime.
Prison sentences could be less than one year in some bank robbery conviction cases and 25 years or more in other cases. If an innocent person is killed during the commission of a bank robbery or in an attempt to flee authorities after a robbery or attempted robbery, defendants could be facing life imprisonment and even the death penalty.
Conspiracy charges are common in bank robbery cases when two or more people were involved in the robbery. Defendants can be charged with conspiracy in addition to bank robbery, or they can be charged with only conspiracy if they never carried out the planned bank robbery.
To prove conspiracy, prosecutors only need to show that two or more people agreed to commit a crime, and at least one person took a step to further the agreement. For example, if two people planned to carry out a bank robbery and one person purchased masks to wear during the robbery, conspiracy could be charged against both people because purchasing the masks would be considered to be a step taken to further the agreement.
Bank Robbery Defenses
Bank robbery charges do not have to result in convictions, especially when you have a good defense. Common defenses include that the defendant did not intend to rob the bank, that the defendant was under duress when he or she robbed the bank, or that someone else, not the defendant, committed the crime.
Police misconduct can also be used as a defense in some cases where defendants’ rights were violated. For example, if evidence was illegally obtained, or if prosecutors cannot establish an unbroken chain of custody for the evidence against you, that evidence may not be used to convict you.
Negotiating With Prosecutors
Trials are lengthy, expensive, and the outcome is never certain, which is why prosecutors typically prefer to negotiate with defense attorneys to settle the matter prior to trial. In exchange for a guilty plea, prosecutors may make concessions, such as lowering charges, dropping some of the charges against you, and agreeing to sentencing recommendations.
Bank Robbery Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with bank robbery or other serious crimes, it is imperative that you secure the help of an experienced attorney. Criminal defense attorneys at Vinas & Graham, PLLC, represent clients facing federal and state criminal charges.
Contact our office at 713-229-9992 or online to discuss your case. We will provide you with straightforward advice and an aggressive defense. When your rights and your freedom are in jeopardy, you need a skilled legal advocate fighting for you.
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