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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.

Why Clients Choose Spodek Law Group

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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Federal Carjacking Laws – 18 USC 2119

By Spodek Law Group | June 14, 2023
(Last Updated On: July 28, 2023)

Last Updated on: 28th July 2023, 07:22 pm


Just kidding. But we’ve got to admit, grand theft auto is no laughing matter. Normally, these cases are tossed into the state courts to sort out. Then there are those times when Uncle Sam gets involved and the whole thing becomes a federal issue.


There’s a specific set of circumstances that can land a car thief staring down federal charges. And believe you me, you don’t want to be on the business end of a federal court. They don’t play around – the sentences are longer, and the fines? Well, let’s just say you’d better have a seriously stocked piggy bank.

What’s this law all about? In the simplest terms, 18 U.S.C. 2119 says that carjacking becomes a federal crime if someone swipes a vehicle that’s crossed state or national borders. There’s also some crystal clear wording about force, violence, or scare tactics coming into play when nabbing the vehicle.

And don’t think you’re off the hook if you chicken out last minute! The law covers attempts. Plus, those actions must have been driven by the intention of doing some serious harm, potentially even causing death. It’s all pretty grim, I know.


Let’s get down to the brass tacks. When is someone guilty of breaking 18 U.S. Code § 2119? The accused has to forcibly takeaway a vehicle that’s been shipped across state or national lines, having both the knowledge and intention to seriously harm or kill the previous owner.

Now, here’s the caveat: intent is evaluated once you take control of the car. This twist in the tale can sometimes make it difficult to definitively prove.


Now, we’re not saying you’re some wild car thief on a cross-country stealing spree. But what should you do if you ever find yourself in such an unthinkable situation? The answer: Todd Spodek and the Spodek Law Group.

If the car hadn’t journeyed across state lines or international borders, you’re looking at a state charge – not a federal prosecution. What if the car was still being put together? According to the letter of the law, it’s not technically a ‘vehicle.’ And if there was no threat of lethal force or intent to cause serious injury? Again, the court might swing towards a state charge.

On the other hand, if the car wasn’t within arm’s reach of the owner or driver when the alleged carjacking took place (let’s say it was parked in some remote location), then a federal charge is no-go.

These are just a few of the potential lifesavers if you’re charged with federal carjacking. But remember, even if it doesn’t become a federal case, the state courts can still sink their claws into it.

To wrap up, if Todd Spodek and the Spodek Law Group are pulling for you, whether you’re in state or federal court, you’re going to be in capable hands. Armed with experience and a head full of legal expertise, they might just pull a rabbit out of the hat for you. They’re old hands at negotiating with prosecutors and can very well score you a favorable plea deal. So, what have you got to lose? Let Spodek handle it.


Now you’re probably thinking, “What happens if I’m found guilty?” And, like the legal world is, it’s a pretty complicated list of ifs and buts. The consequences for pinching a set of wheels under federal law can be anything but a walk in the park. The severity level of the punishment usually swings depending on the nature and seriousness of any injuries incurred during the unfortunate act.

Listen to this: If your wild ride in someone else’s vehicle doesn’t end up harming anyone, you’re still looking at a maximum sentence of 15 years in a federal penitentiary, not to mention the hefty fine tagging along. However, let’s say serious injury tags along your joyride, then you’re looking at up to 25 years behind bars with an even heftier fine.

And if someone loses their life? Well, then we enter a very grim territory indeed – you might be staring down life imprisonment or even the death penalty, with a colossal fine attached. The stakes are high, my friend.


Fear not, mate! There’s always hope amidst the dire straits. Yes, the old adage rings true, in the face of such weighty law as 18 U.S. Code § 2119, knowledge is power. And who better to fill you in than your incredibly experienced, street-smart attorney, Todd Spodek.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that when you have Todd by your side, you’ve got one of the brightest minds in the business representing you (psst, kid, those aren’t my words, that’s straight from his palatial string of endorsements).

So what’s he bringing to the table? Based on the specific nuances of your case, Todd Spodek and his team might have multiple defense strategies up their sleeves. If proven in court that the car you “borrowed” hadn’t pre-travelled an interstate or international trip, then guess what, no federal prosecution would apply.

Brushing off the dust from another regulatory gem, if the vehicle you took for an unsuspecting spin wasn’t fully assembled, it wouldn’t meet the federal criteria of a ‘vehicle’. Score one for the defendant! And hey, what if their claim of you intending to cause harm doesn’t check out? Then, my friend, they simply can’t nail you with a federal charge.

Lastly, now this one’s a kicker, if the purloined auto wasn’t within the close vicinity of the rightful owner or driver at the time of the heist, then according to the rules of the land, a federal charge isn’t the right fit.

These are just a glimpse into the realms of possibility when it comes to defending against a federal carjacking charge. But remember, even if you evade the federal hammer, you might still find yourself in a sticky wicket with state law. However, no worries! Todd Spodek and the Spodek Law Group have your back. Marvel at their prowess as they negotiate, debate, and parley with the prosecutor to work towards an outcome that serves your interests.

In short, friend, if you ever find yourself in this pickle – it’s time to dial up Todd Spodek and the Spodek Law Group. Together, they’re ready to dive headfirst into the turbulent sea of laws, rules, and legislation to save your day.

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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...

~Fonder Brandon

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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...

~A G

5 Stars
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...

~George Cherubini

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