Service & Results.

nyc criminal lawyers over 30 years of experienceWe Know How To Win Cases

Spodek Law Group handles tough cases
nationwide, that demand excellence.

Get Free Consultation

Faced 5+ Years in Prison

People Vs Joseph Amico

Covered by NYDaily News. Las Vegas man accused of threatening a prominent attorney and making vile remarks.

Faced 10+ Years in Prison

People Vs. Anna Sorokin

Covered by New York Times, and other outlets. Fake heiress accused of conning the city’s wealthy, and has an HBO special being made about her.

Faced 3+ Years in Prison

People Vs. Genevieve Sabourin

Accused of stalking Alec Baldwin. The case garnered nationwide attention, with USAToday, NYPost, and other media outlets following it closely.

Faced Potential Charges

Ghislaine Maxwell Juror

Juror who prompted calls for new Ghislaine Maxwell trial turns to lawyer who defended Anna Sorokin.

Why Choose Us

Clients can use our portal to track the status of their case, stay in touch with us, upload documents, and more.

Regardless of the type of situation you're facing, our attorneys are here to help you get quality representation.

We can setup consultations in person, over Zoom, or over the phone to help you. Bottom line, we're here to help you win your case.

Law in the Media

View All

Meet Todd Spodek


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.

If you have a legal issue, call us for a consultation.
We are available 24/7, to help you with any – and all, challenges you face.

How Does Amendment 821 Change Sentencing for Drug Offenses?

How Does Amendment 821 Change Sentencing for Drug Offenses?

Amendment 821 is a new set of guidelines passed by the United States Sentencing Commission that will change how federal judges sentence people convicted of drug offenses. This amendment, which goes into effect on November 1, 2023, makes two major changes that could lead to shorter prison sentences for many drug offenders, especially those with minimal criminal histories convicted of low-level offenses.I know a lot of folks are hoping this amendment could help get sentences reduced for themselves or their loved ones. So let‘s break down exactly what Amendment 821 does, who it could help, and how you can go about trying to get a sentence reduction under the new rules. I’ll try to explain it in simple terms, using examples and practical tips so you understand how it works.

What Does Amendment 821 Do?

The main things Amendment 821 changes are:

  • Reduces the impact of “status points” for criminal history
  • Allows judges to go below guideline ranges for certain drug offenders

Reduces Status Points for Criminal History

First, Amendment 821 reduces the effect of “status points” on someone’s criminal history score under the sentencing guidelines.Criminal history is a big factor in determining the final guideline range. The more past convictions someone has, the more status points they get, and the higher their criminal history category goes.Amendment 821 limits how much your criminal history category can go up just from having status points. For example, let’s say Joe has 1 past conviction worth 3 points. Under the old rules, if Joe committed his new offense while on probation (2 status points) his total criminal history score would be 5 points, putting him in Criminal History Category III.But under Amendment 821, those 2 status points wouldn’t increase his Criminal History Category at all – he’d stay at Category II.This change helps people who have longer records only because of things like parole violations, not new crimes. For non-violent drug offenders on supervision at the time of their offense, their criminal history score won’t shoot up as much.

Allows Departures Below Guidelines

The other major change is Amendment 821 allows judges to go below the normal guideline range for certain drug offenders with minimal criminal histories.Let’s look at an example:Say Jim was convicted of intent to distribute 50 grams of meth. Under the old guidelines, with no criminal history, his range would be 63-78 months. The judge would have to sentence him within that range.But under Amendment 821, if Jim has zero criminal history points and didn‘t use violence, the judge can depart downward up to 2 levels. So Jim’s range would now be 51-63 months, and the judge could sentence him below that to as low as 41 months.This gives judges more flexibility to issue shorter sentences for low-level drug crimes when appropriate. The Sentencing Commission estimates over 7,000 current federal inmates could see lower ranges.

Who Can Benefit from Amendment 821?

The people most likely to get shorter sentences under Amendment 821 are non-violent drug offenders with minimal criminal histories. This includes:

  • First time offenders
  • People with only minor prior records
  • Those serving long sentences for low-level drug crimes
  • Minor players in drug conspiracies

Violent criminals and drug kingpins won’t see any change. But thousands of low-level offenders could potentially get their sentences reduced by years.For example:

  • Josh was convicted of selling 100 grams of heroin and got 78 months. With Amendment 821, his range may now be 63-70 months.
  • Debbie was sentenced to 60 months for mailing 10 pounds of marijuana. She may now qualify for a range of 37-46 months.
  • Tyrone got 120 months for his role delivering packages for a drug ring. He could possibly get a new range of 97-121 months.

As you can see, the sentencing benefits can be substantial, especially for non-violent offenders at the lower end of drug quantities.

How to Get a Sentence Reduction Under Amendment 821

If you or a loved one are currently serving federal time for a drug offense, here is how to go about seeking a sentence reduction under Amendment 821:

1. Determine If You’re Eligible

First, figure out if you meet the requirements to get a lower range under Amendment 821. You generally need:

  • No criminal history points
  • No violence involved in the offense
  • Not a leader in a drug conspiracy
  • No major injury or death resulted

If you meet these criteria, you’ll likely be eligible for a reduction. But meeting the requirements doesn’t guarantee a lower sentence – that will be up to the judge.

2. File a Motion After November 1, 2023

Amendment 821 goes into effect on November 1, 2023. After that date, you can file a motion in federal court asking for a sentencing reduction under the new rules.Federal public defenders can file these motions for free if they represented you originally. If not, your family may need to hire a lawyer to file the motion.

3. Wait for a Resentencing Hearing

After filing the motion, the judge will review it and decide if you qualify for a lower range. If so, they will schedule a resentencing hearing.This hearing will likely happen remotely by video conference. The judge will hear arguments from your lawyer and the prosecutor. They will then decide whether to reduce your sentence or not.Even if you qualify, the judge still has discretion on whether to lower your sentence at all. But Amendment 821 at least gives you a chance.

  • Jim files his motion in January 2024. In March, he gets a hearing and his sentence is reduced by 18 months.
  • Debbie files her motion in December 2023. She waits months until her hearing in June 2024. Luckily she still gets a 24 month reduction.

The process may take awhile, so be patient. But for many inmates, filing a motion under Amendment 821 could be their ticket to an earlier release.

How Amendment 821 Could Impact New Cases

While Amendment 821 offers hope for current inmates, it could also benefit people facing new federal drug charges but not yet sentenced.When calculating guideline ranges, judges will now apply the reduced status points and allow downward departures for qualified defendants. This could lead to lower sentencing ranges right from the start.Let’s look at an example:

  • Mike was arrested for selling meth. Under old rules, with 1 prior conviction, his range would be 70-87 months.
  • But under Amendment 821, his criminal history points are less. And with no violence involved, the judge can depart down 2 levels.
  • So Mike’s range is now 57-71 months, and the judge sentences him to 60 months instead of 78 months.

So for new cases, Amendment 821 may result in better plea deals with lower sentencing ranges right off the bat.

Amendment 821 Represents Progress, But More Reform is Needed

While not perfect, Amendment 821 is a step forward in reforming federal drug sentencing and reducing mass incarceration.For decades, thousands of low-level drug offenders have received overly harsh sentences under rigid mandatory minimums and guidelines. Many non-violent people have served decades in prison for minor drug crimes.Amendment 821 finally gives judges more discretion to issue fair sentences that fit the crime. It provides hope for inmates serving unjustly long terms that they may one day get a second chance.However, more reforms are still needed to completely fix the problems with federal drug sentencing:

  • Get rid of mandatory minimums – Judges should have discretion without these rigid limits
  • Reduce sentencing guidelines ranges – The current ranges are still too high
  • Apply reforms retroactively – Let more prisoners benefit from changes
  • Release elderly inmates – Those who pose no threat should get compassionate release
  • Expand diversion programs – Treatment and supervision instead of prison

Amendment 821 doesn’t solve all the problems, but it’s a good start. If you have a loved one serving time, don’t hesitate to file a motion seeking a reduction after November 1st. This amendment gives inmates their first real chance in years at getting some time knocked off their sentences.And going forward, advocates will keep pushing for more reforms. The passage of Amendment 821 shows our voices can make a difference. There is growing momentum for change, and this is just the beginning. Don’t give up hope – step by step, we can end the injustice of excessive drug sentences!

Free Consultation


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

5 Stars
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

Spodek Law Group

White Glove Service

We Provide Superior Service, Excellent Results, At A Level Superior To Other Criminal Defense Law Firms. Regardless Of Where Your Case Is, Nationwide, We Can Help You.
View More

Request Free Consultation

Please fill out the form below to receive a free consultation, we will respond to
your inquiry within 24-hours guaranteed.


85 Broad St 30th Floor, New York, NY 10004


get directions

Los Angeles

611 S Catalina St Suite 222, Los Angeles, CA 90005


get directions


35-37 36th St, 2nd Floor Astoria, NY 11106


get directions


195 Montague St., 14th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201


get directions
Call Now!