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The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

Todd Spodek is a second generation attorney with immense experience. He has many years of experience handling 100’s of tough and hard to win trials. He’s been featured on major news outlets, such as New York Post, Newsweek, Fox 5 New York, South China Morning Post, Insider.com, and many others.

In 2022, Netflix released a series about one of Todd’s clients: Anna Delvey/Anna Sorokin.

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The reason is simple: clients want white glove service, and lawyers who can win. Every single client who works with the Spodek Law Group is aware that the attorney they hire could drastically change the outcome of their case. Hiring the Spodek Law Group means you’re taking your future seriously. Our lawyers handle cases nationwide, ranging from NYC to LA. Our philosophy is fair and simple: our nyc criminal lawyers only take on clients who we know will benefit from our services.

We’re selective about the clients we work with, and only take on cases we know align with our experience – and where we can make a difference. This is different from other law firms who are not invested in your success nor care about your outcome.

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Amendment 821: A Game Changer for Drug Sentencing?

Amendment 821: A Game Changer for Drug Sentencing?

Hey there, looks like you wanted to learn more about Amendment 821 and what it could mean for drug sentencing. I got you covered! Grab a snack and let’s dive in.Amendment 821 is no small change – it’s a huge deal that could seriously improve things for folks serving time for drug offenses. I know all the legal mumbo jumbo can make your eyes glaze over, so I’ll lay it out in simple terms.

What Exactly is Amendment 821?

In a nutshell, Amendment 821 changes how a person’s criminal history is calculated when deciding their sentence. It makes it so certain things don’t count against you as much anymore.Specifically, it gets rid of those “status points” people used to get just for being on probation, parole, etc. So if you got extra points added just because you were under supervision when you caught your current case, those won’t count anymore!This amendment was passed by the U.S. Sentencing Commission earlier in 2023 and is set to go into effect November 1st. But here’s the big news – on August 24th, the Commission voted to apply it retroactively!

Retroactivity Is a Game Changer

Applying Amendment 821 retroactively means people currently serving time under the old rules could get their sentences reduced!This is huge because it doesn’t just help folks who get arrested after November 1st – it could potentially help thousands of people already sitting in federal prison. The Commission estimates around 20,000 inmates could see lower sentences if they file for reductions under Amendment 821.

Now I know what you’re thinking…too good to be true, right? Well there’s always some catches with the law, so let’s break it down.

When Can People File for Reductions?

Even though the amendment takes effect November 1st for any new cases, there’s a delay before retroactivity kicks in. Inmates can start filing motions on February 1, 2024. The courts need time to prepare for the flood of requests they’ll get!

So if you or a loved one is serving time in federal prison, mark your calendars for February 1st, 2024. That’s when you can file for a sentence reduction under the retroactive application of Amendment 821.

Who Is Eligible?

The main thing Amendment 821 does is change how criminal history points are calculated. So generally speaking, you may be eligible if:

  • You got points added just for being on probation, parole, etc. when you caught your current case; and
  • Getting rid of those “status points” lowers your total criminal history score enough to also lower your final guideline range.

There’s more to it than that, but that’s the basic idea. The court will look at all the details of your case to see if the change makes you eligible.

What If You Already Got a Reduction?

Now for some not-so-good news…you can’t “double dip” if you already got a sentence reduction before.

  • If you got a reduction under the Drugs Minus Two amendment, you can still apply for one under Amendment 821.
  • But if you already got the minimum reduction possible under another amendment, you can’t apply again under 821.

It’s tricky, but basically you only get one bite at the apple unless your first reduction was the very smallest amount allowed.

How Do You Apply?

Filing for a sentence reduction under Amendment 821 retroactivity is pretty straightforward:

  • Get your case documents together – judgment, plea deal, sentencing transcripts, etc.
  • Calculate your new guideline range under Amendment 821 yourself first.
  • Draft and file a motion showing exactly how your criminal history points and guideline range would be different under the new rules in Amendment 821.

Having a lawyer helps, but it can be done without one if you do your homework!

What About Drug Offenses Specifically?

Now I know your main question was about how Amendment 821 could affect drug sentences.The truth is it may not have as big an impact on drug cases as some other offenses. The main benefit is getting rid of those “status points” that were added when someone was on probation or parole.But many drug defendants don’t have much other criminal history, so they weren’t getting many status points to begin with.However, Amendment 821 could still help some drug offenders, especially those serving longer sentences. Even shaving off a few years could make a big difference for them.Some examples of drug defendants who may benefit:

  • Those who did get status points added and eliminating them lowers their guideline range.
  • People serving very long sentences – even small reductions to their guidelines could chop off years.
  • Low-level drug offenders with minimal criminal history given harsh sentences.

So in summary – Amendment 821 is fantastic news for sentencing reform in general. But its impact may be more limited for drug offenses compared to other crimes.Nonetheless it’s absolutely still worth looking into if you or someone you know is serving federal time for a drug crime. Even the smallest chance at a reduction is worth pursuing.I know I just dumped a ton of info on you! But I wanted to make sure you have a solid understanding of Amendment 821 so you can make the most of it. Let me know if you have any other questions.And don’t lose hope – change is coming. Amendment 821 proves we’re moving in the right direction when it comes to fairer sentencing. Stay strong!


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I was searching for a law firm with some power to help me deal with a warrant in New York . After 6 days I decided to go with Spodek Law Group. It helped that This law firm is well respected by not only the top law firms in New York , but the DA , Judge as well. I...

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It was my good fortune to retain Spodek Law Group for representation for my legal needs. From the beginning, communication was prompt and thorough. Todd, Kenneth and Alex were the first people I worked with and they all made me, and my company Qumana skincare feel comfortable and confident that the team was going to work hard for me. Everything...

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After meeting with several law firms, I chose the Spodek Law Group not only for their professionalism and experience, but for the personal attention given to me right from the initial consultation. It is important to recognize how crucial having the right legal team is when faced with potentially life altering events that impact families and the lives of loved...

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