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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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Finding a Lawyer for Your Federal Criminal Case – Attorney Tips

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

Last Updated on: 20th October 2023, 08:46 pm


Finding a Lawyer for Your Federal Criminal Case – Attorney Tips

Getting charged with a federal crime is scary. The federal government has like, so many resources. And they usually win cases. So you need a really good lawyer on your side.

But finding the right federal criminal defense attorney can be tough. This article has tips from lawyers on how to find the best attorney for your case. We’ll talk about stuff like experience, fees, and how to know if a lawyer is a good fit.

Look for Experience with Federal Cases

Federal court is really different from state court. The rules of evidence and procedure are not the same. So you want a lawyer whose done federal criminal cases before.

Ask attorneys about their experience with federal cases like yours. Have they taken federal drug trafficking, fraud, or weapons cases to trial before? Find someone whose been practicing federal criminal defense for many years. Experience matters.

Also, the federal system is like, nationwide. So it helps if the lawyer has tried cases in the specific federal district or circuit where your case is. They’ll know the judges and prosecutors. And be familiar with how things work in that federal jurisdiction.

Understand the Federal Sentencing Guidelines

The federal sentencing guidelines are no joke. They determine what your sentence could be if convicted. An experienced federal criminal lawyer will understand how the guidelines apply to your case. And the best defense strategies to aim for the lowest sentence.

The guidelines score factors like:

  • Your criminal history
  • The amount of financial loss or drugs involved
  • Whether weapons were used
  • If you accept responsibility

It’s super complex how the scores translate into a sentencing range. You need a lawyer who gets this. Don’t let the federal prosecutor be the only one who understands it.

Negotiate Fees Up Front

Federal criminal cases can go on for months or even years before resolving. So legal fees really add up. Have an honest talk with any lawyer you consider about:

  • Their hourly rate
  • Upfront retainer amount
  • How and when they bill
  • Estimated total cost for your case

Get the fee agreement in writing! This avoids surprises or confusion down the road.

Also ask if they offer payment plans or take credit cards. Not everyone can plunk down like, twenty grand all at once.

Find Someone Who Makes You Comfortable

You’ll be working closely with your lawyer for a long time. So it’s important you feel comfortable with them. Consider stuff like:

  • Do you communicate well together?
  • Does their personality work for you?
  • Do you feel they understand your situation and goals?
  • Do you trust them to defend you aggressively?

Don’t feel bad about looking for another lawyer if it’s just not a good fit. This is your life on the line. So get someone in your corner who you connect with.

Understand All Your Options

Experienced federal defense lawyers know there are many options beyond just going to trial. For example:

  • Plea bargains: Plead guilty in exchange for lesser charges or a sentencing recommendation.
  • Cooperation: Provide information to get charges reduced or dismissed.
  • Pre-trial motions: File motions arguing to suppress evidence or dismiss the case.
  • Sentencing advocacy: Present mitigating factors arguing for a lower sentence.

A knowledgeable lawyer will explain all your options. And realistically assess the pros/cons of each. There are many strategic decisions to make. Never go with a lawyer who just says “let’s fight this at trial!” without exploring alternatives.

Review Their Track Record

It helps to work with an attorney who regularly gets good results for their clients. Things to look at:

  • Dismissal rate – how often do they get charges dropped?
  • Trial success rate – if they go to trial, do they win?
  • Sentencing outcomes – do their clients get probation or below-guideline sentences?

Past performance isn’t a guarantee of future results. But a proven trial lawyer who knows how to get charges dismissed or reduced is key.

Check Reviews From Past Clients

Online reviews can give great insights into lawyers. Look for reviews that talk about:

  • How well they know federal criminal law
  • If they are responsive and easy to talk to
  • Whether they take time to explain the process
  • If they work hard negotiating with prosecutors
  • How well they do at sentencing hearings

Of course, look out for fake reviews too. But honest reviews from real clients can say a lot about what a lawyer is like to work with.

Don’t Choose Based on Price Alone

Federal criminal defense costs a lot. Private attorneys might charge $500 an hour or more. And giant retainers upfront. But the cheapest lawyer isn’t always the best choice. This is your freedom at stake. A top lawyer might save you years of prison time. That’s worth investing in.
Public defenders are free. But they juggle huge caseloads. Make sure to ask how much time they can devote to your complex federal case.
Find the most experienced lawyer you can afford. Negotiate fees and payment plans. But don’t pick someone just because they are cheap. Your life is on the line.

Ask About Their Resources

Do they have access to expert witnesses, private investigators, forensic accountants, or other professionals that may be needed? Do they know the right doctors for competency evaluations? Federal cases often involve wiretaps, financial records, surveillance evidence, etc. You need a lawyer with the resources and knowledge to dig into these things. A small firm or solo practitioner may not cut it.
Make sure any lawyer you consider has access to all the expertise needed for your case. Don’t be their “guinea pig” case to learn these things.

Read Up on Your Charges

Learn the elements of each federal crime you’ve been charged with. This helps you ask smart questions when interviewing lawyers. Such as:

  • Have they handled this charge before?
  • Do they see any defenses that could apply?
  • What are the sentencing guidelines for this charge?

It also helps gauge if a lawyer really knows federal criminal law. Do they give thoughtful answers? Or seem confused themselves?

Doing your own research prepares you to make the best choice. And work closely with your lawyer analyzing the charges.

At big law firms, multiple attorneys may work on your case. Find out:

  • Who does what? Is there a clear lead attorney?
  • How experienced are the other lawyers and paralegals?
  • Will you work with the same team throughout your case?

You want consistency. And lawyers knowledgeable about federal cases. Not just random junior associates.

At smaller firms, ask if they bring in co-counsel for federal trials. Having another experienced federal practitioner can help.

Interview Multiple Attorneys

Talk to several lawyers before deciding. Even meet with ones you don’t choose. It helps you learn:

  • What qualifications to look for
  • What fee structures are typical
  • Different approaches to defending federal cases

You’ll make the best, most informed choice after speaking to multiple attorneys. Don’t rush into a decision without comparing options.

Ask About Appeals

Many federal cases end up going to appeals. So ask:

  • Do they handle appeals too? Or refer them out?
  • How often do they win appeals?
  • Will they represent you pro bono if you can’t afford the appeal?

You need someone who can give you excellent representation all the way through the process. Including any appeals.

Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate

If you find a lawyer you love, but the fee is too high, speak up! Ask stuff like:

  • Can we lower the hourly rate or retainer amount?
  • Can I make payments over time?
  • Are there ways to cap total fees?

You have more negotiating power before retaining them. Don’t be shy. This is business. Though you want a great lawyer, make sure the fees work for your budget.

Trust Your Gut

This is your life and freedom on the line. After doing your research, go with the lawyer you believe in most. Even if people say they are too expensive or “not aggressive enough.” You need someone who feels right to YOU.

Finding the best federal criminal defense lawyer takes work. But it’s crucial. These tips will help you make the best choice. And give you the strongest defense against federal charges.

You’ve got this! With the right attorney in your corner, you can get through this.


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