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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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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Last Updated on: 21st October 2023, 08:56 am
Going through a federal criminal trial can be an intimidating and confusing process for defendants and their families. As a defense lawyer, I want to walk you through the typical steps so you know what to expect. This article will provide a simple, conversational overview to help demystify things.
The first phase is the investigation1. If the FBI, DEA, ATF or other federal agency believes a crime has been committed, they’ll start gathering evidence. This can involve surveillance, undercover operations, witness interviews, subpoenas for documents, and more2.
The evidence is presented to a grand jury, who decides if there’s probable cause to charge the suspect3. If they return an indictment, the U.S. Attorney’s Office will file formal charges and issue an arrest warrant. Then the suspect is arrested and brought before a judge for an initial appearance4.
This whole process can take months before you even get to court. The waiting can be frustrating, but it’s important for your lawyer to use this time to build the strongest defense.
Once arrested, you’ll be brought before a judge for your initial appearance5. This is usually within 24 hours. The judge informs you of the charges against you and your rights. If you can’t afford a lawyer, one will be appointed. You’ll also learn if you’ll be released on bail or detained until trial4.
Within 10 days, you’ll appear before a judge again for an arraignment. This is when you formally enter a plea of guilty or not guilty6.
Over 90% of federal cases end in a guilty plea3. But don’t rush into this without exploring your options. An experienced lawyer can advise if you have any chance of beating or reducing the charges at trial.
If your case goes to trial, the first step is jury selection, also called voir dire3. The judge, prosecution and defense each get a chance to question potential jurors and exclude ones who seem biased.
Peremptory challenges allow dismissing jurors without giving a reason4. Your lawyer will use these to try removing jurors who seem unfavorable to your case.
After 12 impartial jurors are chosen, they are sworn in. You are now ready to begin the trial.
The trial starts with opening statements from both sides, laying out what they think the evidence will show5. Then the prosecution calls their witnesses and presents evidence to try to prove your guilt.
Your lawyer gets to cross-examine each witness, poking holes in their testimony. After the prosecution rests, your lawyer can present defense witnesses and evidence. But the burden of proof is on the prosecution – you don’t have to prove your innocence6.
Once both sides have presented their case, they give closing arguments. The jury is then given instructions on the law by the judge and sent to deliberate in private4.
All throughout the trial process, your lawyer will advocate vigorously on your behalf, objecting to evidence that violates your rights and putting the prosecution’s case to the test.
If the jury (or judge in a bench trial) finds you not guilty, congratulations – it’s all over and you are free to go6. If you are convicted, the judge will set a sentencing date.
Before sentencing, a probation officer will prepare a report analyzing any mitigating factors that could merit a lighter sentence5. Your lawyer can advocate for the minimum sentence under federal guidelines.
The judge has discretion to decide your ultimate sentence, which could involve prison time, fines, probation, or some combination. In some cases alternative sentences like house arrest may be possible.
Having an experienced federal defense lawyer in your corner can make all the difference in navigating this complex process and achieving the best possible outcome. Don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions!
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