3601 McDonough Street, Joliet, IL 60431

Call Us815-727-0100

McNamara Phelan McSteen, LLC

Robbing Someone at an ATM in Illinois Carries Serious Consequences

 Posted on August 18, 2022 in Criminal Defense

Joliet bank robbery defense attorneyFor criminals unschooled in federal case law, robbing someone at an ATM might seem like the perfect opportunity to get easy cash without having to commit the more serious crime of holding up a teller at a bank. If you can catch someone at an ATM with their debit card, you may think you can access account funds without risking more than charges of basic robbery

This turns out to be a huge mistake. While most personal robberies do indeed fall under state law, robbing someone at an ATM will likely be treated the same as robbing someone at a bank. While courts are still somewhat divided over this issue, rulings exist that have allowed ATM robberies to fall under federal law and jurisdiction, bringing much harsher penalties. If you have been charged with robbing someone at an ATM in Illinois, make sure you have an excellent criminal defense attorney

Not All ATM Robberies Are Bank Robberies

There is some division among federal circuit courts that have heard appeals from people who have been charged with robbing someone at an ATM but who dispute that the robbery was a federal crime. In most of these cases, the circuit courts agreed that the ATM money was in the possession and control of the bank and that forcing a customer to withdraw cash from an ATM was also robbing the bank. 

Bank Robbery Penalties

While bank robbery is somewhat glamorized in films and novels, in reality, it is one of the most serious crimes for which someone can be convicted. Because banks are protected by federal insurance, robbing them falls under federal law and has commensurately serious consequences. 

Someone who is convicted of a bank robbery can face up to 20 years in prison, even without using a weapon or threatening a teller in any way. When a robbery involved assault or endangers someone’s life, fines increase and potential prison time is upped to 25 years. If someone died in the commission of a bank robbery, even accidentally, the perpetrator could face life imprisonment or even the death penalty. The specific details of the case and the perpetrator’s past criminal history can affect whether a judge is willing to pursue the most serious punishments. 

Get Help from a Joliet, IL Criminal Defense Lawyer

Charges of bank robbery can carry federal consequences. If you are facing criminal charges for robbery at a bank or ATM, get help right away from a Will County criminal defense attorney. Do not make plea deals or submit to questioning from prosecutors until you have legal representation. Your actions now could make the difference between a long prison sentence and a future of freedom. Call McNamara Phelan McSteen, LLC now and schedule a free consultation at 815-727-0100






Share this post:
Will County Bar Association Illinois State Bar Association Lions Minooka AV 2019 Rotary DuPage County Bar Association Workers Compensation Lawyers Association
Back to Top