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18 U.S.C. § 2113 defines federal bank robbery as taking or attempting to take by force, violence, intimidation, or extortion from the person or presence of another any property, money or anything of value belonging to or in the care, custody, control, management or possession of any bank, credit union, or savings and loan association OR entering or attempting to enter any bank, credit union, savings and loan association with the intent to commit any felony against such bank, credit union or savings and loan association in violation of any U.S. statute or any larceny. The punishment for bank robbery is a fine or imprisonment for not more than 20 years or both. 


18 U.S.C. § 2113 also provides punishments for the following:


  • Any person who intentionally takes any property exceeding $1,000.00 from any bank, credit union or savings and loan association (fine or imprisonment for not more than 10 years or both);

“The consequences for bank robbery are so serious that I don’t concede anything.”  Lisa Witt

  • Any person who intentionally takes any property not exceeding $1,000.00 from any bank, credit union or savings and loan association (fine or imprisonment for not more than 1 year or both);


  • Any person who knows that the property has been stolen and receives, possesses, conceals, stores, barters, sells or disposes of any property must receive the same punishments as the taker above depending on the value of the taken property;


  • Any person who assaults another person or uses a dangerous weapon or device to commit or attempt to commit bank robbery must be fined, imprisoned for not more than 25 years or both;


  • Any person who kills another person or kidnaps another person while committing any bank robbery offense defined above or attempting to escape from any bank robbery offense must be imprisoned for not less than 10 years or, if death results, life imprisonment or death.  



 The government aggressively prosecutes a charge of federal bank robbery.  If you face a federal bank robbery charge, Lisa will thoroughly evaluate your case and determine if one or more of the following potential defense strategies apply:


  • Act described is not federal bank robbery:  The act described in the indictment may not fit the statutory definition of federal bank robbery.


  • Eyewitnesses:  You may have eyewitnesses who can testify about what happened.

“Because the government says it’s evidence doesn’t mean it’s good evidence.”

  Lisa Witt

  • Alibi:  You may have been working, out of state or with other people during the times alleged in the indictment.


  • Mistaken identity:  Someone else committed the bank robbery and you were mistakenly identified as the suspect.

  • Lack of intent:  You may not have had the legally required intent to commit bank robbery. 


  • Missing or tainted evidence:  Sometimes the government’s evidence is missing or tainted.

  • Implausibility of government’s theory:  The government’s theory may be implausible based on the timeline or other evidence.

  • Suppression of government’s evidence:  The government may have violated your constitutional rights or otherwise acted illegally in obtaining evidence or your confession so that the evidence must be suppressed.

  • Insufficiency of government’s evidence:  The government may have insufficient evidence to prove bank robbery beyond a reasonable doubt.


  • Reduction in number of counts: Each count of your indictment should concern a separate criminal act or victim and not be parts of the same bank robbery. 


  • Federal law enforcement  misconduct:  There may be federal law enforcement  misconduct in investigating the federal bank robbery, collecting the evidence, interviewing the victim and witnesses, or obtaining your confession.

  • Government misconduct:  There may be government misconduct in disclosing the evidence, interviewing victims and witnesses, and in the general course of your case.


  • Possible other defenses:  Depending on the unique facts of your case, there may be other possible defenses.  Lisa thinks outside the box when defending your case so she may come up with a novel defense that no other attorney has thought of before.


Defending against a charge of federal bank robbery is very complex since it usually involves intricate legal analysis, thorough evidence analysis, and detailed case preparation with many witnesses and items of evidence.  If you or a loved one is facing a federal bank robbery charge, it’s very important to hire a thorough, intelligent and passionate defense attorney who will fight for you as soon as possible.  Call LisaLaw, LLC or fill out the on-line form for a free case review.

Lisa Witt is a Mesa/Phoenix, Arizona bank robbery defense attorney serving clients facing charges in the East Valley, West Valley, Maricopa County, Scottsdale, Tempe, Chandler, Fountain Hills, Apache Junction, Gold Canyon, Queen Creek, Gilbert, Casa Grande, Surprise, Goodyear, Buckeye, Youngtown, Ahwatukee, Avondale, Tolleson.

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