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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.

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.

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What Should You Do If You’ve Been Convicted Of A Federal Crime

By Spodek Law Group | July 27, 2023
(Last Updated On: October 13, 2023)

Last Updated on: 13th October 2023, 08:21 pm

What Should You Do If You’ve Been Convicted Of A Federal Crime?

Getting convicted of a federal crime can be scary and overwhelming. Believe me, I know – I’ve been there. When those handcuffs clicked shut around my wrists, my heart dropped to my stomach. I had no idea what was coming next or how my life would ever be the same.But here’s the thing – it’s not the end of the world. As bleak and hopeless as it feels in those first few days or weeks after your conviction, there are still options and a path forward. This article is to help guide you through the initial shock and start thinking practically about next steps. I’ll walk through the typical process after a conviction, your legal options, and tips for moving forward after serving your time.

The Criminal Justice Process After Conviction

Once you’ve been convicted in federal court, whether by trial or plea agreement, there are still a few more steps before your sentence officially begins:

Pre-Sentence Investigation

After a conviction, the probation office will conduct a pre-sentence investigation to learn more about your background, criminal history, and personal circumstances. This is when you’ll have the chance to share information about yourself that could affect your sentencing – like mental health issues, childhood trauma, addiction, family obligations, etc. Be honest and don’t hold back – this is your chance to show the human side and explain what led to your crime.


During the sentencing hearing itself, the judge will decide your penalty based on the pre-sentence report, federal sentencing guidelines, and arguments from both sides. Speak openly to the judge if you have the chance. Show that you take responsibility for your actions, have changed as a person, and are ready to move forward positively after serving your time.

Reporting to Prison

Once you receive your final sentence, you’ll get a report date to turn yourself in to federal prison – usually between 30 to 90 days out. Use this time to get your affairs in order, say goodbye to loved ones, and mentally prepare for doing your time.

While the conviction feels final, you still have legal options to explore that could reduce your sentence or overturn the conviction altogether:

  • Appeal – You can appeal your conviction if errors were made in the trial process or if your legal rights were violated. An appeals lawyer can advise if you have grounds.
  • Request Leniency – In some cases, you can request leniency from the judge and ask for a reduced sentence. This depends on the specifics of your case.
  • File Post-Conviction Petitions – After an unsuccessful appeal, you might still file petitions claiming your constitutional rights were violated. This is a long shot but still an option.
  • Seek Clemency – The President has the power to grant clemency and commute sentences for federal crimes. Explore clemency projects and petitions.

Don’t give up hope. With the right legal strategy, you may still be able to reduce your sentence or even overturn the conviction. Consulting with an attorney is the best way to understand all your post-conviction legal options.

Tips for Moving Forward Positively After Your Release

The time in federal prison will be difficult, but you can take steps to set yourself up for success after release:

  • Use prison resources – Take classes, learn skills, and participate in programs. This looks good to the parole board and builds your resume.
  • Stay connected – Maintain close ties with family through phone calls, emails, and visits. Lean on your support network.
  • Make a release plan – Figure out your housing, employment, finances, healthcare, transportation, and other basics for when you get out.
  • Take care of your mental health – Prison can be traumatic. Seek counseling or join a support group to process your emotions.
  • Focus on the future – Remain positive and solution-focused. Don’t dwell on the past. Visualize the life you want and take steps each day to get there.
  • Develop a routine – Create a schedule for your days including exercise, meals, reading, correspondence, and hobby time. This makes the time pass quicker.
  • Practice gratitude – There are still blessings, even in prison – a warm meal, a good book, a loving family. Find small joys in each day.

The most important thing is to not lose hope. What happened does not define you. Millions have been in your shoes and gone on to live happy, fulfilling lives. Have faith in yourself and focus on personal growth during your time away. You can do this!

Navigating the criminal justice system can be confusing. Here are some of the common legal processes that happen after a federal conviction and tips for getting through them:

Pre-sentence Investigation

After you are convicted but before sentencing, a probation officer will conduct a pre-sentence investigation to learn more about your background, criminal history, and personal circumstances.

  • Be honest and forthcoming. Don’t make excuses, but explain context if relevant.
  • Share information that shows your human side – family obligations, mental health issues, childhood trauma, addiction battles.
  • Mention any efforts you’ve made to improve yourself since the crime – counseling, volunteering, making amends.


This hearing determines your penalty based on federal guidelines and arguments from both sides.

  • Dress respectfully and speak politely to the judge.
  • Take responsibility for your actions and show remorse.
  • Emphasize any plans you have for going straight and contributing positively after release.
  • Bring up mitigating factors – e.g. no prior record, played minor role in the crime.

Reporting to Prison

You’ll get a report date to turn yourself in to federal prison, usually 30-90 days after sentencing.

  • Get your affairs in order – pay bills, notify employer, arrange care for kids or pets.
  • Say goodbye to loved ones and spend meaningful time with them.
  • Educate yourself on prison life and tips for adapting. Mentally prepare.

Parole Hearing

If eligible, you can get a parole hearing after serving part of your time.

  • Take classes, participate in programs, and have a clean record in prison to help your case.
  • At the hearing, highlight your rehabilitation efforts, release plan, and low risk of reoffending.
  • If denied parole, you can request reconsideration after some time passes.

Supervised Release

After prison, you’ll be under supervision with restrictions – like drug testing, counseling, community service.

  • Follow all the program rules and check in regularly with your probation officer.
  • Build a stable, law-abiding life – sober friends, steady job, positive hobbies.
  • Avoid people and places that could lead back to criminal activity.

It’s a long road, but taking it step-by-step and keeping a positive attitude will help you get through. Don’t lose hope for better days ahead!

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