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New York Bank Robbery Frequently Asked Questions

What is bank robbery in New York?

Under New York’s criminal code, robbery is defined as forcible stealing. Bank robbery is the taking of bank property by the use of physical force, intimidation, or the threat of force. While there are other ways to steal property from a bank such as through embezzlement or by writing bad checks, bank robbery does not include those crimes. Bank robbery commonly involves using guns to force tellers to turn over bank money. It also can include passing a note to a teller demanding money without displaying a gun or any other type of deadly weapon. The act of producing a note demanding money would still be considered robbery because the contents of the note could be enough to amount to intimidation or a threat of physical harm.

Why Is the Penalty for bank robbery more severe than other types of robberies?

There are three robbery offenses in the criminal code, each of which is a felony, and two of which are categorized as violent felonies. So, even if a bank is not involved in the robbery, the penalties for a robbery conviction are likely to result in significant prison time. If a bank is involved, the sentencing may be even more severe because the robbery of a bank may implicate federal law, which means harsher sentencing. Bank robberies also often result in multiple charges such weapons charges, assault, and murder.

Bank robbery is a serious felony. The prosecutor will seek a severe punishment due to multiple aggravating factors that typically accompany a bank robbery charge such as the displaying of a deadly weapon such as gun, the high value of the property stolen, victims often include third parties such as bank customers, and accomplice involvement. The sentence typically includes long prison term. If the defendant has a criminal history, particularly a history of violent crimes, that will have a negative impact on the sentencing. In addition, the punishment is harsh even if the bank robbery was not successful. Attempted bank robbery is severely punished.

What are possible defenses for a charge of bank robbery?

Before someone who is accused of robbing a bank can be convicted, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. One common defense to robbery charge is mistaken identity. Witnesses often make mistakes when describing perpetrators and witness descriptions often conflict. In addition, the prosecutor must prove that each element of the crime was present. This means that the prosecutor must show that the defendant committed a theft using force or the threat of force. If no theft occurred, or if the actions of the defendant did not reasonably amount to intimidation, then the prosecutor would not have evidence to back up a charge of robbery.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you or someone you care about is facing criminal charges based on bank robbery, it is critical that you have experienced representation. If you are convicted you could spend years behind bars away from your loved ones. The skilled criminal attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have more than 2 decades of experience successfully representing clients in New York charged with federal and state crimes. We can help. Contact us at 800.NY.NY.LAW (800.696.9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients facing criminal charges in the following locations: Queens, Nassau County, Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Staten Island, Suffolk County, and Westchester County.

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