Just last week, a couple from Tampa Bay was apprehended and charged in federal court for charges stemming from the couple’s year-long bank robbery spree. According to a report by WPTV.com, the couple was arrested for robbing banks in both Florida and Alabama.
According to the federal government’s charging documents, the couple began robbing banks back in December of 2012 when they robbed a Chase Bank in the Westshore area of Tampa. From there, the couple allegedly robbed banks on and off over the course of the following year; sometimes robbing two banks in one day.
The police agencies investigating the robberies were able to piece together a “modus operandi” of the couple. In all but one of the robberies, the male would carry out the actual robbery with the female playing a supporting role. While weapons were shown in some of the robberies, the couple often relied on note cards with demands written on them to inform the bank tellers that they were being robbed.
Due to the number of banks robbed and the varying jurisdictions in which the bank were located, the couple’s actions were investigated by numerous police agencies, including the FBI, Tampa Police, Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Auburndale Police, Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Sumter County Sheriff’s Office, Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Ocala Police, Dothan Police and Gulf Shores Police.
Bank Robbery in Federal Courts
Bank robbery can be a federal or a state crime; either way, it is a serious offense. The couple above will most likely be charged in federal court for the alleged robberies. This is in part because the “spree” spanned state lines, giving the federal government jurisdiction over the couple and their alleged actions. However, most bank robberies are charged in federal court anyhow because Congress has given the federal government power over these cases. In a way, this makes sense because the Federal Reserve, a federal agency, ensures all bank deposits up to a certain amount, and therefore the federal government has an interest in ensuring that banks are not robbed.
To make sure that bank clients’ funds remain safe, the federal government takes bank robberies very seriously. For example, in federal court, a bank robbery is punishable by:
- Substantial fines;
- Up to 20 years in prison; and
- Imposition of court costs and attorney’s fees
Note that this is for a first time offense without the use of a weapon. For a repeat offense, or if a weapon was used, the minimum and maximum length of the prison sentence will increase.
Have You Been Charged with a Robbery Offense?
If you have been charged with any kind of robbery-related offense, you need to make sure you have an experienced and dedicated Florida criminal defense attorney at your side. Despite how strong it may seem like the prosecution’s evidence is, you are still entitled to make them prove every element of the crime you have been accused of.
The Forbess Law Firm has a team of experienced and dedicated criminal defense attorneys ready to meet with you to discuss the facts of your case. Having defended against all kinds of serious criminal offenses, the Forbess Law Firm knows what it takes to obtain an acquittal and, if an acquittal is not an option, the talented lawyers at the Forbess Law Firm will zealously represent you in settlement negotiations and at trial, if the need arises. Click here to contact us online, or call 904-634-0900 today to schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced DUI defense attorney.
See More Blog Posts:
Couple Arrested For Killing Baby With Heroin Filled Baby Bottle, Jacksonville Criminal Attorney Blog, October 15, 2013.
Sunrise Police Officer Resigns After Being Charged With Marijuana Distribution, Jacksonville Criminal Attorney Blog, October 7, 2013.