Covered by NYDaily News. Las Vegas man accused of threatening a prominent attorney and making vile remarks.
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.
Accused of stalking Alec Baldwin. The case garnered nationwide attention, with USAToday, NYPost, and other media outlets following it closely.
Juror who prompted calls for new Ghislaine Maxwell trial turns to lawyer who defended Anna Sorokin.
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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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When someone commits a crime, they can face charges at either the state or federal level. While most criminal cases are tried in state courts, some crimes fall under federal jurisdiction. Understanding the key differences between state and federal criminal cases is important if you find yourself facing criminal charges.
The biggest difference between state and federal criminal cases is jurisdiction – meaning which court system has the power to hear the case. State courts have broad jurisdiction over most criminal cases like assault, theft, and murder. These violations of state law make up the majority of criminal trials.
Federal courts have limited jurisdiction over cases involving federal laws, such as:
So if a crime violates both state and federal laws, prosecutors can choose to bring charges in either court system depending on the circumstances.
State courts are established by state governments. Local city and county courts fall under the state court umbrella. Federal courts were created under the U.S. Constitution to handle federal cases.
State court judges are elected or appointed by governors for set terms. Federal judges are nominated by the president, confirmed by the Senate, and serve lifetime appointments.
State crimes are prosecuted by local district attorneys or state attorneys general. Federal crimes are prosecuted by assistant U.S. attorneys who work for the Department of Justice. The hiring process for federal prosecutors is very competitive, as they take on high-profile cases of national importance.
Local police or state law enforcement agencies like highway patrols investigate state crimes. Federal agencies like the FBI, DEA, ATF, and ICE handle investigations for federal crimes.
Federal courts follow the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, which are consistent nationwide. State courts follow their own criminal procedure rules that vary by state.
This means the process for things like plea deals, discovery, and motions will differ between the state and federal systems. Defense attorneys must understand both sets of procedural rules to effectively represent clients.
One major difference is that federal judges must consider the Federal Sentencing Guidelines for criminal penalties. The guidelines provide recommended sentencing ranges based on the crime and defendant’s criminal history. While judges have more flexibility after the guidelines became advisory in 2005, they still influence federal sentences.
State judges follow sentencing laws and policies set by state legislatures and courts. Many states have passed “three strikes” laws requiring life sentences after three felony convictions. In general, federal sentences tend to be longer than state sentences for similar crimes.
Whether the death penalty is an option depends on the laws in each jurisdiction. Some states have the death penalty, while others do not. At the federal level, the death penalty is permitted for certain crimes like murder, espionage, or treason.
The Double Jeopardy Clause prevents someone from being prosecuted twice for the same crime. But there is a “separate sovereigns” exception – so someone can face charges in both state and federal court if the single act violates both state and federal laws.
Both court systems have their own appeal processes. State court decisions can be appealed to state appeals courts and state supreme courts. Federal decisions can be appealed to the circuit courts of appeals and ultimately the U.S. Supreme Court.
Facing criminal charges at either the state or federal level is extremely serious. An experienced local defense attorney is key – federal laws and procedures are complex, and state laws vary widely across the country.
A skilled lawyer understands the key differences between the state and federal criminal justice systems. This allows them to build the strongest defense under the unique laws and procedures in each jurisdiction. Don’t leave your freedom to chance – consult an attorney immediately if you are facing criminal charges.
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