Conspiracy to commit bank robbery is an offence that can come with a stiff punishment. This article provides detailed guidance on the typical sentencing for this offence.

What is the sentence for Conspiracy to commit bank robbery in 2020?

The definition of conspiracy to commit bank robbery is when more than one person is plotting and planning to rob a bank. The discussion may be in person, over the internet or by telephone.

Being convicted of conspiracy to commit bank robbery can come with a hefty sentence. Even if it is only the planning of a ‘small’ robbery, the courts take an offence of this nature very seriously. It can also carry a sentence of life imprisonment, depending on what has taken place. It is for this reason that those involved can feel very worried and concerned about the outcome of a case of this nature.

Conspiracy to commit bank robbery can be something as small as beginning discussions n the possibility of holding up a bank, or as complex as arranging how you and ten others are going to hold up the local bank branch in detail.

When a conspiracy to commit bank robbery investigation takes place, it can be worrying for you, your family and your friends. There will be a concern that you won’t be able to secure the income to pay your rent, your mortgage, your bills, or even money to pay for food for your dependents. Your life will feel unstable, and you’ll be uncertain of what the next few months or years can bring.

Evidence in these cases can sometimes be complicated and vast. It can range from images of you speaking to the other person(s) involved in the conspiracy to telephone calls you have made about the plan to fingerprints found at the planned scene of the crime. In some circumstances, evidence can be complicated and vast. The prosecution will seek to prove their case with forensic or DNA evidence, mobile phone sim card analysis, identification procedures and expert reports on any alleged weapons involved.

On this page, we have detailed some of the questions that some of our clients ask us when they are facing a conspiracy to commit bank robbery allegation.

If you have a question, but you cannot find it on this page, don’t hesitate to contact us. We can answer more of your questions if you call us on 0208 888 5225.

What type of actions are considered conspiracy to commit bank robbery?

Here are some examples of the different levels of a conspiracy to commit bank robbery that may be part of your situation:

  • A plan to hold up a small bank in your local town
  • A plot to dig a tunnel that leads into the safe of a large branch of a commercial bank

Depending on what has happened, you may need to answer questions about the following scenarios:

  • Why you made specific phone calls
  • What you were referring to in individual emails
  • Who you met on specific dates at certain locations and what was discussed

The police are likely to want to seize your laptop, your tablet or your phone in a bid to find further evidence that can be used against you in Court.

When the sentence of a convicted defendant is issued, many different considerations will be taken into account. For example, what was the plan, what was involved, what was your role and how much money were you conspiring to steal?

What is the average sentence for conspiracy to commit bank robbery offences?

Even the most minor of plots and plans discussed in a conspiracy to commit bank robbery will be taken very seriously by the courts. The sentences given are typically eight years down to community service, depending on what happened and whether a weapon was involved.

Whether you harmed or injured a person will also be considered, and this could dramatically increase the sentence if you are found guilty.

How does a court decide on the seriousness of the conspiracy to commit bank robbery offence for sentencing purposes?

The information that judges are given with regards to sentencing are only guidelines, and each case will be looked at individually. One of the factors judges consider in every case of this nature is the defendant’s level of genuine remorse.

Other elements of what will decide how serious the crime is include:

  • If minimal force was used
  • Whether a weapon was used
  • Whether a weapon was used, with a lot of force and/or serious injury

The following factors are also considered when the Court decides which sentence to give for any crime. They will look at:

  • Your previous conviction(s)
  • Whether a large number of people were involved
  • Your level of remorse
  • Your level of cooperation with the investigation
  • Whether you played the role of a leader in the robbery
  • The value of what was taken
  • If the offence took place at night
  • Whether the offence was planned or opportunistic
  • Your reputation / good character
  • Whether you have any serious medical conditions that require long term, urgent or intensive treatment
  • Whether you have a learning disability or a mental disorder
  • Whether you are the sole or primary carer for related dependents
  • Whether the property that was taken was returned voluntarily

What are some of the mitigating factors that might reduce the conspiracy to commit bank robbery sentence?

When sentencing for conspiracy to commit bank robbery, your case will be judged on what your role was and how much involvement you had in the crime. There will also be questions about whether the crime was planned or performed on a more opportunistic and impulsive nature.

Whether you harmed or injured a person, or just planned to will also be considered.

Certain aspects of a case are known as the mitigating aspects which can influence the sentence that a judge gives. In possession of indecent images cases, they may include:

  • Whether the defendant is disabled or mentally ill
  • The age of the defendant, i.e. if they are particularly young, their age may affect their level of responsibility
  • If there are previous, relevant or recent convictions
  • Suspect shows a considerable level of genuine remorse
  • A previous good character with exemplary conduct
  • If there is a learning disability or mental disorder linked to this offence
  • There have been demonstrative steps made to address this behaviour

Is it possible to reduce a sentence for conspiracy to commit bank robbery with a guilty plea?

In recent years, a number of changes have been made to the sentencing system in the UK to save the court time and cost and to protect witnesses from the stress of needlessly going through a trial. For offenders aged 18 and over, pleading guilty early on in a case can reduce a sentence by as much as one third (maximum). The later the plea is entered, the smaller the reduction.

  • ‘Early on’ refers to ‘the first stage of the proceedings’ and means anytime up to and including the first hearing at the Magistrates Court or Crown Court for indictable offences.
  • If a plea is entered 14 days after the first hearing, for example, the maximum level of reduction is just 20% or one fifth of the sentence. For indictable offences, the limit for a guilty plea to be made is within 28 days after the prosecutor has stated compliance with section 3 of CPIA 1996 and serving disclosure; although the decision is ultimately in the hands of the Judge who has the discretion to apply whatever credit is deemed appropriate.
  • After these times, there is a sliding scale of credit applied. This goes down to one-tenth on the first day of the trial and to zero if entered during the course of the trial. In theory, the ten per cent could be given if the plea is issued after the opening speeches on the first day, but prior to any witness evidence being heard.
  • If the accused does not want to plead guilty, then it is important for the solicitor to regularly inform the Court throughout the trial of the reasons why the client’s plea is not guilty.

What are some of the other consequences of the conspiracy to commit bank robbery offence?

Ancillary Orders

A court can also make ancillary orders on a defendant if they are found guilty and convicted of an offence. These are extra elements that can be added to a sentence and include additional restrictions or requirements that affect a dependent’s finances, property or activity.

Ancillary orders that are typically added to the penalty for those who are found to be guilty of conspiracy to commit bank robbery include:

  • Compensation for loss
  • Restraint orders
  • Reparation orders
  • Financial reporting order
  • Confiscation orders

As part of your investigation, you may also have your assets frozen with the possibility of having cash or other assets seized.

In addition, the Court may demand payment of the following if the accused is convicted:

Payment of costs applied for by the prosecutors

Although the police meet some of the costs involved in the prosecution, the costs of investigation are typically sought from the convicted. These may include the costs of:

  • The work done in obtaining sufficient evidence for prosecution either at the initial stage or later at the request of Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)
  • Seeking medical or expert evidence as part of the investigation, (where a witness is required to attend Court, the cost of the attendance falls on the CPS).
  • Re-interviewing witnesses
  • The entire costs of the prosecutor, including fees for the use of external Barristers used by the CPS, can be recovered from the defendant, subject to means. At the end of the case, the prosecutor under The Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 will request the Judge to order a sum to be paid for the costs incurred by the prosecutor in bringing the prosecution.

Victims surcharges

The term victims’ surcharges can be explained as paying compensation to a fund for victims and can range between £20 to £170 depending on what sentence you were given at conviction.

How sentences can be added to national information databases

There are several national databases that hold information about individuals and any allegations made about them, their criminal and court records. These include the DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) which was previously known as the CRB (Criminal Record Bureau) and the Police National Computer (PNC).  Depending on what happened, whether the accused is convicted and what sentence was issued, the accused may be added to one or all of these databases. Their purpose is to provide information to potential employers and to regulate the ability to take part in certain activities.

If your case progresses to Court and you are convicted of conspiracy to commit bank robbery, your conviction will be noted on your CRB / police record. The period of the endorsement will depend on the nature and length of your sentence.

Below are details on how long you will be listed as holding a criminal record if convicted. This is something very serious to consider when it comes to future employment. The term ‘spent’ refers to when your name can be removed from the databases.

Rehabilitation Period
(the time it takes for the sentence to become ‘spent’)
Sentence Adult (aged 18+) at time of conviction Young person (aged under 18) at time of conviction
Prison sentences of more than 4 years Sentence is never spent Sentence is never spent
Prison sentences of more than 2.5 years (30 months) but less than 4 years Sentence length 7 years Sentence length 3.5 years
Prison sentences of more than 6 months but less than 2.5 years (30 months) Sentence length +4 years Sentence length +2 years
Prison sentences of less than 6 months Sentence length + 2 years Sentence length +18 months
Conditional Discharge Length of order Length of order
Absolute Discharge None None
Conditional Caution 3 months 3 months
Simple Caution / Youth Caution None – immediately ‘spent’ None – immediately ‘spent’
Other Including Compensation Order, Supervision Order, Bind Over, Hospital Order Length of the order / once compensation is paid Length of the order / once compensation is paid

How Can Stuart Miller Solicitors Help?

Stuart Miller Solicitors has over three decades and thousands of clients of experience when it comes to defending conspiracy to commit bank robbery cases. Our experience in this area of law is vast. In addition to our impressive track record of success, we are known for our quality of customer service and care.

The legal minds of our solicitors are some of the best in the country and they are applied to every case that we take on as a collective. We enjoy coming up with the most bullet-proof defence strategies using creative problem-solving skills where possible.

No matter what your involvement was in the case, we will defend you by relentlessly pursuing all evidence so that we can weaken it and use it to your advantage.

The risk for any solicitor in a conspiracy to commit bank robbery is what the other parties may say in their defence. To counter this, we start work early on any case by building the profile of any other people so that we can understand what they may say and how to protect you.

Arrest & Interview

Our team are here to support you if you are arrested. You must not attend any police station meeting or interview without legal support. The police are trained in achieving convictions, and they will be trying out their tactics on you.

By engaging a lawyer and taking them with you to an interview, you’ll be guided in what to say and what not to say. Everything you say to the police will be recorded and could be used in Court against you.

It’s your right to be accompanied by a lawyer to the meeting.

When it comes to devising the defence strategy, we often adopt a worst-case scenario position and work backwards, ensuring every weakness in the case is plugged. We will engage talented and motivated Barristers or QC’s to defend you, and together, we can all apply many different minds to the problem and create solutions meeting your objectives.

Would you like to discuss your case before instructing us?

To arrange a no-obligation chat with us, contact us or call us on 0208 888 5225. We can listen to what has taken place and provide you with answers to your questions. It’s a chance to get to know more about us so that you can be sure that we are the right solicitors for you.

Our conspiracy to commit armed robbery solicitors can speak with you by phone, in person or on a video call.

Get in touch with us now for conspiracy to commit bank robbery legal help.

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