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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.

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

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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.

What Is A Federal Detention Hearing

What Is A Federal Detention Hearing

A federal detention hearing, also known as a bail hearing or bond hearing, is a critical early proceeding in a federal criminal case. It determines whether a defendant will be released pending trial or detained pretrial. Detention hearings are held before a magistrate judge shortly after a defendant’s initial appearance.

The detention hearing is important because pretrial detention can seriously impact a defendant’s ability to prepare their defense. It also deprives defendants of their liberty before being proven guilty. However, prosecutors may argue for detention if the defendant poses a danger to the community or risk of flight.

Purpose of Detention Hearings

The main purpose of a federal detention hearing is for the judge to decide whether to release or detain the defendant before trial. The judge will consider factors like:

  • The nature and circumstances of the charges
  • Weight of the evidence against the defendant
  • Defendant’s history and characteristics, including criminal record, employment, ties to the community
  • Danger posed to the community if released
  • Risk of flight or non-appearance in court if released

Federal law favors pretrial release, but allows detention if no release conditions can reasonably assure community safety and the defendant’s appearance. The judge must impose the least restrictive conditions to mitigate danger and flight risk.

When Detention Hearings Occur

Detention hearings are held soon after a defendant’s initial appearance, typically within 3 days. Defendants arrested on criminal complaint have the right to a prompt detention hearing.

For defendants who have been indicted, the prosecution may ask for detention at the initial appearance. If they do, the detention hearing must occur within 3-5 days. Defendants indicted for certain serious drug offenses and crimes of violence may be detained temporarily pending the hearing.

Defendants who are not already detained have the right to a detention hearing upon government motion. The hearing must take place promptly after the motion is filed.

Right to Counsel

The Sixth Amendment guarantees criminal defendants the right to counsel at all critical stages, including detention hearings. Those who cannot afford an attorney will have one appointed to represent them. Counsel can help argue for pretrial release and negotiate conditions.

Experienced defense counsel will advocate aggressively for the defendant’s release. They can challenge weaknesses in the prosecution’s arguments and present evidence favoring release. Having quality representation can greatly impact the outcome.

How Detention Hearings Proceed

While less formal than a trial, detention hearings have important due process protections:

  • Defendants have the right to be present and represented by counsel
  • Defendants can testify, present evidence, and cross-examine government witnesses
  • Judges must find probable cause that defendant committed charged offense(s)
  • Burden is on the government to prove danger to the community or risk of flight by clear and convincing evidence
  • Judges cannot rely solely on the nature of charges to order detention

Prosecutors often highlight factors weighing in favor of detention, like:

  • Violent crime charges or offenses involving minors or controlled substances
  • Prior criminal record, especially crimes committed on pretrial release
  • Lack of stable residence, employment, or ties to the community
  • Prior failures to appear or violations of probation/parole
  • Evidence of danger, threats or obstruction

Defense counsel will counter by presenting evidence of:

  • Long-term residence and family ties to the area
  • Stable history of employment
  • No prior criminal record or convictions long ago
  • Compliance with past release conditions
  • Third-party custody or supervision options
  • Treatment programs and other release conditions to mitigate risks

Outcomes of Detention Hearings

There are three potential outcomes from the detention hearing:

  1. Release on personal recognizance – The defendant is released without having to post bond, often subject to conditions like avoiding contact with victims/witnesses. This is only available in limited cases where the defendant poses minimal danger or flight risk.
  2. Release on conditions – The defendant is released after posting bond or agreeing to conditions like electronic monitoring, curfews, no drug/alcohol use, etc. The judge crafts the least restrictive plan to reasonably assure appearance and community safety.
  3. Pretrial detention – The defendant is detained without bond through trial because no conditions can reasonably assure the community’s safety or the person’s appearance. Pretrial detention is relatively rare outside certain serious drug and violent offenses.

Judges must support pretrial detention findings with clear and convincing evidence. Their decision can be appealed to the district court and court of appeals.

Factors Considered for Release or Detention

Under the federal Bail Reform Act, judges consider these factors:

Nature and Circumstances of Offense

  • More likely to detain for serious violent crimes, major drug trafficking, crimes involving minors
  • Less likely for nonviolent or victimless crimes

Weight of the Evidence

  • Strong government case more likely to support detention
  • Weak case favors release

History and Characteristics of Defendant

  • Criminal record, especially crimes on pretrial release, and history of violence weigh against release
  • Ties to community, stable employment and residence support release

Danger to Community

  • Evidence of threats, violence or obstruction may support detention
  • Option for third-party custody or supervision can mitigate

Risk of Nonappearance

  • Prior missed court appearances or probation violations point to detention
  • Stable ties and compliance with past release conditions support release

The strength of the prosecution’s case is also relevant. Judges can consider evidence and proffers from both sides at detention hearings. But the nature of charges alone cannot justify detention without additional evidence of danger or flight risk.

Pretrial Services Recommendation

Federal pretrial services officers research the defendant’s background and interview references to make a recommendation on release conditions. They provide a pretrial services report to the judge shortly before the hearing.

While judges seriously consider the recommendation, they are not bound to follow it. Defense counsel may object to inaccurate or incomplete information in the report. Both parties can present further evidence at the hearing.

Seeking Review of Detention Decisions

If a magistrate judge orders detention, the defense can request a new hearing from the district court judge. District judges review detention decisions de novo and can override the magistrate’s ruling.

Detention orders can also be appealed to the Circuit Court of Appeals after the district court’s review. However, appellate courts apply a deferential “abuse of discretion” standard to detention appeals.

Defense Strategies for Detention Hearings

Experienced defense lawyers use various strategies to advocate for pretrial release:

  • Thoroughly investigate defendant’s background, employment, health issues, and ties to the community
  • Gather evidence of stable history and present positive character references
  • Research compliance with past release conditions
  • Identify treatment programs, counseling, or third-party custody options
  • Argue weaknesses in the government’s case and rebut allegations
  • Craft proposed release conditions tailored to defendant’s situation
  • Educate the pretrial services officer early to influence their recommendation
  • Consult experts to assess danger and flight risk
  • Appeal detention decisions to district and appellate courts when necessary

Having qualified defense counsel at detention hearings is critical. The lawyer’s advocacy can mean the difference between pretrial freedom or months or years in jail awaiting trial.

Knowledgeable attorneys understand the complex federal bail statute and case law. They can work to build the most persuasive case for release possible under the circumstances.

Defense lawyers also know how to work with prosecutors and probation officers in detention matters. Their negotiation skills can help craft favorable release conditions and prevent prolonged pretrial detention.


Federal detention hearings are a vital early stage in a criminal case. Skilled legal advocacy can often make the difference in whether a defendant is released or jailed pretrial. Defendants should obtain experienced defense counsel as early as possible to help secure pretrial 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...

~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

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