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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.

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What Is A Cpl 440 10 Motion

What Is A CPL 440.10 Motion

A CPL 440.10 motion is a way for someone convicted of a crime in New York to challenge their conviction or sentence after the trial is over. CPL stands for “Criminal Procedure Law” and 440.10 refers to the section of New York law that allows these motions.

These motions are used to bring up issues that couldn’t be raised during the original trial or on direct appeal. For example, if someone finds new evidence that wasn’t available at trial, they can file a 440.10 motion to get a new trial based on that evidence. Or if there was some kind of misconduct by the prosecutor or defense attorney that wasn’t known at the time, a 440.10 motion can bring that to light.

So in a nutshell, 440.10 motions are a way to get back in front of a judge and explain why your conviction or sentence should be overturned or changed based on new information the court didn’t have before. Keep reading for a more in-depth look at how these motions work.

When Should You File a 440.10 Motion?

A CPL 440.10 motion can be filed any time after sentencing. There is no deadline or statute of limitations. However, it’s usually best to file soon after conviction rather than waiting years, for a few reasons:

  • Courts don’t like unnecessary delays. If you wait a really long time to file, the court may think you’re just trying to drag the process out.
  • If you want to file a federal habeas petition later, there are strict deadlines for those, so you don’t want to waste time up front.
  • Memories fade and evidence can disappear over time, so it’s best to act quickly while everything is still fresh.

That said, it’s also important not to rush into filing a 440.10 motion without thoroughly considering all your possible arguments. Take enough time to investigate the case and develop the strongest motion possible.

Requirements for Filing a 440.10 Motion

There are a few key requirements for filing a CPL 440.10 motion:

  • It must be made in writing.
  • You must provide reasonable notice to the prosecution.
  • The motion should raise all available grounds for challenging the conviction or sentence. Don’t hold anything back for future motions.
  • Any facts alleged must be supported by sworn affidavits from people with personal knowledge of the facts. Your own affidavit usually isn’t enough on its own.
  • You can submit additional evidence like documents, records, etc. that support your arguments.

If you don’t follow these requirements, the court may deny your motion without even considering the merits.

Possible Grounds for a 440.10 Motion

The law lists specific grounds that you can argue in a 440.10 motion. Some of the main ones include:

  • New evidence: You have new evidence that wasn’t available at trial and likely would have changed the verdict, such as DNA evidence, a confession from the real perpetrator, etc.
  • Ineffective assistance of counsel: Your defense attorney provided inadequate representation by failing to call key witnesses, not objecting to inadmissible evidence, or other substantial errors.
  • Prosecutorial misconduct: The prosecutor engaged in improper behavior, like failing to turn over key evidence, knowingly using false testimony, making inappropriate comments, etc.
  • Actual innocence: You have evidence clearly showing you are innocent of the charges. This is very hard to prove.
  • Illegal sentence: Your sentence is invalid or illegal, such as being longer than allowed by law.
  • Improper grand jury proceedings: Errors or misconduct occurred before the grand jury, resulting in an invalid indictment.
  • Constitutional violation: Your conviction or sentence violated your constitutional rights, such as your right to a fair trial, due process, effective counsel, etc.

Strategic Considerations for 440.10 Motions

Filing a successful 440.10 motion takes skill and strategy. Here are some key things to keep in mind:

  • Work with an experienced criminal appeals attorney. Do not try to file pro se if at all possible.
  • Be sure to raise all potential arguments in your first motion. You only get one bite at the apple, so don’t hold anything back.
  • Support your factual allegations with affidavits from people with first-hand knowledge. Don’t rely solely on your own affidavit.
  • Submit credible evidence backing up your claims, such as documents, records, expert reports, etc.
  • Craft persuasive legal arguments showing why the law and facts entitle you to relief. Cite relevant case law.
  • Request an evidentiary hearing to resolve disputed facts if applicable. Don’t rely just on the papers.
  • Be thorough but concise. Don’t bombard the court with weak or frivolous arguments. Stick to your strongest issues.
  • Follow all procedural rules for filing motions. Sloppiness will undermine your credibility.
  • Emphasize any unfairness in your conviction and why justice requires you be given relief. Tug on the judge’s conscience.

Appeals After a 440.10 Motion is Denied

If the trial court denies your CPL 440.10 motion, you can seek permission to appeal that denial to an intermediate appellate court. Here’s how the appeal process works:

  • You must file an application for leave to appeal within 30 days after the denial of your 440.10 motion.
  • The application goes to the intermediate appellate court in whatever department your case is in – either the Appellate Division First Department, Second Department, Third Department, or Fourth Department.
  • You must persuade the appellate court that your case involves issues worthy of a full appeal. This is a discretionary decision up to the appellate judges.
  • If leave to appeal is granted, your case will proceed to full briefing and argument before the appellate court.
  • The appellate court can then affirm or reverse the lower court’s denial of your 440.10 motion. If reversed, your case will be sent back to the trial court for further proceedings.

Winning leave to appeal is difficult. Most applications are denied. But with a strong showing that your case presents substantial, novel issues, you may convince the appellate court to grant permission to appeal. An experienced appellate advocate can greatly increase your chances.

Federal Habeas Corpus Petitions

After exhausting state remedies, you can also file a petition for writ of habeas corpus in federal court. This is a separate process from CPL 440.10 motions. Some key things to know:

  • You must first exhaust all available state court remedies before filing a federal habeas petition. This usually means filing a 440.10 motion.
  • Federal courts can only consider claims of federal constitutional violations, not state law issues.
  • The standards for habeas relief are very strict under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA).
  • There is a one-year statute of limitations for filing a habeas petition after your conviction becomes final.
  • Winning habeas relief from federal courts is difficult, especially under AEDPA. Focus on your state court remedies first.
  • You do not need a lawyer to file a federal habeas petition, but having an experienced habeas attorney greatly improves your odds.


CPL 440.10 motions are an important tool for challenging an unfair conviction or illegal sentence in New York. But winning relief requires skillfully navigating complex procedures and rules. Consult with a knowledgeable criminal appeals lawyer before filing a pro se motion. With effective representation and strong arguments, a 440.10 motion provides a valuable chance to undo an unjust result. The road to exoneration starts with a well-crafted motion showing the flaws in your case. Don’t go it alone – get experienced help to gain your freedom.

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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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