Bank Robbery- Federal


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Federal Bank Robbery- 18 U.S.C. 2113

In order to sustain its burden of proof for the crime of armed bank robbery, the government must prove the following four (4) essential elements beyond a reasonable doubt: (1) the Accused took money that was in the care, custody, or possession of a bank; (2) the taking was by force and violence or intimidation; (3) the Accused deliberately assaulted or put the life of the person in jeopardy by the use of a dangerous weapon or device while taking the money; and (4) the deposits of the bank were then insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

The use of a note during a bank robbery does not constitute armed robbery, but may be considered a crime of violence.

The phrase “assaults any person” means a deliberate attempt to inflict bodily harm or injury upon the person of another.

The phrase “assaults any person” also means a threat to inflict bodily harm or injury upon the person of another when that attempt or that threat is coupled with an apparent present ability to do so.

An “assault” may be committed without actually touching, striking, or doing bodily harm to another.  Any intentional display of such force that would give a person reason to fear or expect immediate bodily harm may constitute an “assault.”

The threat does not have to be carried out.

An individual, therefore, who has the apparent present ability to inflict bodily harm on another and voluntarily attempts to inflict bodily harm on that person may be found to have “assaulted” that person. Similarly an individual who threatens to inflict bodily harm on another may also be found to have “assaulted” that person.
The phrase “puts in jeopardy the life of any person” means to knowingly do an act that exposes a person to a risk of death.

The term “dangerous weapon or device” means any object that can be used by one person to inflict severe bodily harm or injury upon another person.

A weapon openly exhibited by a robber during a robbery is a dangerous weapon whether loaded or unloaded. It is not necessary that the government prove that the involved gun was loaded.  The same danger, apprehension, and tension are created whether the gun is loaded or unloaded.

An object's ability to incite fear and violence because it appears to be dangerous is sufficient to render it a “dangerous weapon.”

Hoax bombs may be considered dangerous weapons.  The weapon or device need not actually be capable of inflicting severe bodily harm or injury upon another to be dangerous, rather, a weapon or device may be considered to be dangerous if it instills fear in the average citizen creating an immediate danger that a violent response will follow.

When the Accused announces that he possesses a gun during a robbery, a jury may reasonably infer that the Accused actually possessed a gun.

“Puts in jeopardy the life of any person by the use of a dangerous weapon or device” means, therefore, to expose a person to a risk of death or severe bodily harm by the use of a weapon or device that is capable of inflicting death or severe bodily harm.
Brandishing and waving a large revolver toward employees and customers in the bank, as well as threatening them, is a dangerous weapon or device.

The phrase “by force and violence, or by intimidation” means by either: one, the use of actual physical strength or actual physical violence or two, doing some act or making some statement to put someone in fear of bodily harm.

The “intimidation” must be caused by an act knowingly and deliberately done or statement knowingly and deliberately made by the Accused which was done or made in such a manner or under such circumstances that would produce such a reaction or such fear of bodily harm in a reasonable person.  

The actual courage or timidity of the victim is irrelevant. The government need not prove actual fear on the part of any person.

The phrase “custody, control, management, or possession” means money or funds that are physically within the bank, (credit union or savings and loan) or within its power to control. When a bank holds the money that has been deposited by its customers, for example, the bank may be said to have “custody, control, management or possession” of those funds.

The law recognizes two kinds of possession: actual possession and constructive possession. A person who knowingly has direct physical control over a thing is then in actual possession of it. A person who, although not in actual possession, knowingly has both the power and intention at a given time to exercise dominion or control over a thing, either directly or through others, is then in constructive possession of it.

The law also recognizes that possession may be sole or joint. If one person alone has actual or constructive possession of a thing, possession is said to be sole. If two or more persons share actual or constructive possession of a thing, possession is considered joint.

The term “bank” means any member bank of the Federal Reserve System, and any bank, … or other banking institution organized or operating under the laws of the United States, and any bank the deposits of which are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

The term “savings and loan association” means any Federal savings and loan association and any “insured institution” … and any “Federal credit union.”

The term “credit union” means any Federal credit union and any State-chartered credit union the accounts of which are insured by the Administrator of the National Credit Union Administration.

Possession of property recently stolen, if not satisfactorily explained, is a circumstance from which a jury may infer that the person in possession of it not only knew that the property was stolen, but also participated in the theft in some way.

The term “recently” is a relative one and has no fixed meaning. Whether property may be considered as “recently stolen” depends on the nature of the property and all of the other evidence received in the case.

Bank robbery without the use of a dangerous or deadly weapon is a lesser-included offense of armed bank robbery.

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