California Criminal Defense Blog

bank robbery

Bank robbery is one of the serious crimes depicted in “The Town.”

Ben Affleck’s highly successful 2010 crime film “The Town” portrayed the life of four fictional lifelong friends entangled in a dangerous crime world. Performing stunts and would-be felonies, the four friends embark on a journey of criminal activity.

“The Town” starts with a carefully planned bank heist carried out by Affleck’s character and his three closest accomplices. Wearing ghoulish masks and armed with semi-automatics, the partners storm into a Boston-area bank with the intent to steal millions of dollars. Along the way, they assault bank employees and threaten innocent bystanders.

To open the bank vault’s door, they force one of its employees to enter the password combination. With a gun pointing at her face, the bank’s manager quickly agrees to do so. Once the door opens, they grab all the money they can find and leave, kidnapping the manager who opened the vault’s door on their way out. Although they hold her hostage for a short amount of time, they let her go unharmed soon thereafter.

The crimes committed in “The Town” come with very severe consequences. Let’s take a look at how some of these crimes would be treated under federal law if they occurred in real life…

Bank Robbery and Incidental Crimes (18 U.S. Code Section 2113)

When the four men used force, violence and intimidation to take money from a bank, they were in violation of 18 U.S. Code Section 2113. This law states:

  • Whoever enters a bank or any savings and loan association and attempts to obtain any property or money is guilty of a felony;
  • Whoever assaults any person while committing this offense is subject to a harsher sentence; and
  • Whoever puts in jeopardy the life of any person by the use of a dangerous weapon can receive a harsher sentence.federal crimes attorney

Punishment for Bank Robbery

Simply robbing the bank would be punishable by up to 20 years in prison if the four men were caught and found guilty. Because they stole more than $1,000 in cash, under 18 U.S. Code Section 2113 the men could also be sentenced to an extra 10 years in prison.

Ben Affleck’s character Doug MacRay and his friends commit several assaults and endanger the lives the people in the bank during the robbery. At one point, one of the robbers hits a bank employee over the head with the back of his gun.

By using guns to storm the bank and threaten employees, the robbers could face up to 25 years in federal prison under 18 U.S. Code Section 2113.

Hostage Taking (18 U.S. Code Section 1203)

federal crimes attorney

A federal crimes attorney can help you avoid serious consequences.

Although the robbers in “The Town” did not harm or hold the bank manager as hostage for very long, had they been convicted, their punishment would have been severe. 18 U.S. Code Section 1203 describes that detaining another person with the intention of forcing a third party (i.e. the police) to do any act is guilty of a felony.

When leaving the bank, the robbers grab the bank manager, blindfold her and force her into the back of their escape vehicle. Once they successfully avoid the police and realize they do not need a hostage, they let her go.

Under 18 U.S. Code Section 1203, by detaining her and holding her as a hostage, the four robbers could face up to life in federal prison. If the bank manager had died while she was being detained, they could be given a death sentence.

Contact Wallin & Klarich if You are Facing Charges of Bank Robbery or Hostage Taking

If you or a loved on has been accused of committing any of the crimes depicted in “The Town” or any federal crime, you will need a skilled attorney who is experienced in these matters. These are very serious allegations that can place you in federal prison for the rest of your life. At Wallin & Klarich, our attorneys have been successfully defending our clients accused of these crimes for over 30 years.

With offices located in Orange County, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Torrance, Riverside, West Covina, Victorville, Ventura, San Diego and Sherman Oaks, our knowledgeable attorneys are available to help you no matter where you work or live. We can help you develop a strategic defense using the facts of your case to get you the best possible result.

Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free telephone consultation. We will be there when you call.


1. [http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2113]

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