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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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Can Federal Charges Be Dropped? How to Fight Your Charges

By Spodek Law Group | October 19, 2023
(Last Updated On: October 20, 2023)

Last Updated on: 20th October 2023, 09:29 am


Can Federal Charges Be Dropped? How to Fight Your Charges

Dealing with federal charges can be scary. The federal government has lots of power to charge people with crimes and punish them. But there are ways to get federal charges dropped or reduced. This article explains how the federal justice system works and what your options are if you’re facing federal charges.

How Are Federal Charges Different From State Charges?

The main difference is that federal courts handle federal crimes, while state courts handle state crimes. Examples of federal crimes include:

  • Drug crimes like selling or trafficking drugs across state lines
  • White collar crimes like wire fraud, identity theft, or money laundering
  • Civil rights violations
  • Federal tax crimes
  • Federal firearms charges

Federal charges tend to be more serious with harsher punishments. Unlike state courts, federal courts can give life sentences and death penalties. The federal government also has more resources to investigate and prosecute people.

Can Federal Prosecutors Drop Charges?

Yes, federal prosecutors can drop criminal charges before a trial if they want to. Defendants usually have to negotiate with the prosecutor to get charges dropped. Here are some reasons charges might get dropped:

  • Weak evidence – if the prosecution’s case looks weak, they may drop charges
  • Cooperation – defendants who cooperate with an investigation may get charges dropped
  • Plea bargain – defendants can agree to plead guilty to lesser charges in exchange for dropped charges
  • Diversion programs – these are rehab programs that can lead to dismissed charges if completed

However, federal prosecutors usually don’t drop charges easily. They have broad discretion on whether to drop charges. A judge can’t force them to if they refuse.

How to Get Federal Charges Dismissed

If prosecutors won’t drop charges, your criminal defense lawyer can file motions to get charges dismissed. Some common reasons charges can get dismissed pre-trial:

  • Lack of probable cause – this means there wasn’t enough evidence for the charges when you were arrested.
  • Speedy trial violations – you have a right to a speedy trial and charges can get dismissed if there are unreasonable delays.
  • Miranda rights violations – if police didn’t read you your rights when arrested, your statements may get thrown out.
  • Illegal searches – if evidence was obtained illegally through improper searches, it may be excluded.
  • Entrapment – when police improperly tricked or coerced you into committing a crime.
  • Double jeopardy – being charged twice for the same crime violates the Fifth Amendment.

Your lawyer will file motions arguing these defenses and try to get charges dismissed before trial. It’s not guaranteed to work, but it’s possible in the right circumstances.

Federal Diversion Programs

Another option is entering a pretrial diversion program. These are special programs where you agree to complete certain requirements like rehab, community service, restitution, etc. If you successfully complete the program, charges get dismissed. Examples of federal diversion programs include:

These programs can be a good option to avoid having a conviction on your record. But you have to qualify based on your charges and criminal history.

Negotiating a Plea Deal

Over 90% of federal criminal cases end in plea bargains, not trials. This involves negotiating with prosecutors to plead guilty in exchange for lesser charges or a lighter sentence. Prosecutors often agree to drop some charges if you plead guilty to others. Some ways plea deals can help:

  • Plead down to a misdemeanor instead of felony
  • Get charges with lower mandatory minimum sentences
  • Agree to a sentencing recommendation for reduced prison time

Your lawyer will negotiate for the best possible deal under the circumstances. It’s very hard to beat federal charges at trial, so plea bargains are common. But you give up your right to trial and appeal when you take a plea.

What Happens If I Lose at Trial?

If you can’t get charges dropped and lose at trial, your options become more limited. You can file appeals, but federal appeals courts rarely overturn convictions. Reasons convictions get overturned after trial include:

  • Prosecutorial misconduct – like failing to turn over exculpatory evidence
  • Ineffective assistance of counsel – your lawyer was incompetent
  • Judicial errors – the judge made mistakes that affected your rights

These are very high bars to meet though. Most appeals fail. If your appeals fail, you’ll have to serve the sentence. The president has pardon power for federal crimes, but presidential pardons are very rare.

Take Federal Charges Seriously

The bottom line is not to take federal charges lightly. The federal government has an overwhelming conviction rate. Work closely with an experienced federal criminal defense lawyer to explore your options. This could include getting charges dismissed pre-trial, entering a diversion program, or negotiating for a favorable plea bargain. With the right legal strategy, it may be possible to reduce or even avoid a harsh federal prison sentence.

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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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