If a person has fallen victim to someone stealing his or her money from an ATM, bank robbery charges can be filed. This case, however, depends on many factors including how the money was stolen and the circumstances surrounding the situation. While some cases, depending on the circumstances may be regarded as federal violations, others may be regarded as civil cases and may require that you hire a Denver criminal defense attorney for litigation and compensation.

To better understand the type of case you have on your hands, there is a need for you to understand what these specifics are. Read below:

What Is Robbery?

A robbery crime is regarded as a felony crime. A person may be held for such a crime as this when he or she knowingly takes property or an item of value directly from another person or in another person’s presence. Robberies are usually characterized by force, coercion, threats, and intimidation. There are different types of robberies recognized under the law and these include:

  1. Robbery
  2. Aggravated robbery
  3. Aggravated robbery of controlled substances

The above classifications of robberies are mainly differentiated by these factors:

  1. Whether the perpetrator used a deadly weapon to threaten the victim
  2. Whether the object that was stolen was a controlled substance.

Bank robberies, however, could involve the use of force, threat, coercion and/or threat. Below are some of the things you should know about ATM and bank robberies.

–         The special circumstances

Usually, a robbery situation will involve the perpetrator approaching the victim and stealing his or her money in some way. However, some special circumstances can skew the normal charges of an ATM robbery, making it a bank robbery. If a person is forced at gunpoint or some other deadly weapon into driving to an ATM terminal to withdraw such funds, then, this could be regarded as a federal offense and a bank robbery rather than being a standard crime. This is made special because the victim at the point of contact did not have money or as much as the perpetrator needed and was made to visit the ATM terminal for such withdrawal.

–         The standard ATM Robbery

The standard ATM robbery cases will most likely involve a bank customer going into the bank or ATM to withdraw money. At the point of withdrawal or after, they may be approached by the perpetrator whose mission is to dispossess the victim of their funds. In other cases, the perpetrator may use a device, fake card, or manipulate the bank customers into revealing sensitive information about their account with the bank.

In some other cases, the standard bank robbery may also involve the use of deadly weapons like guns, as the customer may be held at gunpoint, forced or coerced into revealing sensitive information or money. ATM Robbery involves the collection of money, information, or both. The information collected can be used for future crimes.

–         The investigation into ATM Robberies

When a person has been accused of committing an ATM Robbery, usually an investigation is launched into such allegations to prove the extent of the alleged crimes committed and also to seek redress, holding the accused accountable for their actions. The investigation may involve a search of the crime scene which usually leads to the uncovering of various pieces of evidence that can help the victim and their counsel establish a case against the perpetrator and nail them as guilty of the charges brought up against them. Investigations, on the other hand, may also be a key tool to elevate the original charges which have been leveled against the defendant as in most cases, it may be deduced from investigation that the accused had actually committed a much greater crime leading to initiation of federal charges as against state charges which had earlier been brought up.

–         Aggravated Charges

Whether a perpetrator is faced with federal or state charges of ATM or bank robber, other various charges may also be issued against such a defendant. Some of the more common and standard charges that may be brought up include possession of weapons. In some cases, aggravated charges may be possible if the perpetrator or defendant has been accused of possession of a gun, blade, or any other harmful and deadly weapon and using it to cause injury on the victim leading to disfigurement, scar, or loss of use of a limb. Such developments as this may lead to aggravated charges.

–         Internal ATMs

Some ATMs are located inside of banks while some others are located outside the bank and in open spaces. A person may be charged with bank robbery rather than theft when he or she has to break into the bank to access the ATM or the victim to be robbed. A person may also be charged with bank robbery if they steal from night depositories and the actual ATM inside.

–        External ATMs

Some banks boast of a greater network of ATMs across the city or state. Any ATM that is not linked directly to the bank’s primary place of operation may be regarded as a “Not Connected” or external ATM. Because such an ATM is disconnected from the bank and instead connected to a third party company running it, a person who attempts to break in is not charged with a bank robbery, instead, they are faced with other charges. However, to establish this, it is important to have the backing of a qualified and experienced lawyer who can look into the situation, investigate and understand the facts surrounding the case.

–         Criminal Legal Support For ATM Robbery

If you or a loved one has been robbed or is accused of ATM or bank robbery, there is a need for you to secure the services of a competent attorney who understands ATM and bank robberies and has represented several clients in related cases. In addition, consider the success record of the lawyer to be hired as your case is only as strong as your lawyer’s competence. The lawyer will need to investigate the case, gather evidence and decide on the best way to present findings such that they are well suited to your interests and needs.


By: Dan Murphy

Denver criminal defense lawyer Daniel M. Murphy provides clients in the Denver area with aggressive and sympathetic legal representation. He graduated from the University of Denver Law School in 1994 and worked as a public defender before starting his own practice in 1996. He has defended clients accused of the most difficult criminal and alcohol-related charges. He also serves as a Moot Court Judge for Denver-area law students who rely on his mentorship.