Service & Results.

nyc criminal lawyers over 30 years of experienceWe Know How To Win Cases

Spodek Law Group handles tough cases
nationwide, that demand excellence.

Get Free Consultation

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.

Why Choose Us

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

Regardless of the type of situation you're facing, our attorneys are here to help you get quality representation.

We can setup consultations in person, over Zoom, or over the phone to help you. Bottom line, we're here to help you win your case.

Law in the Media

View All

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.

Will I be banned from New York with federal drug conviction?

By Spodek Law Group | October 16, 2023
(Last Updated On: October 17, 2023)

Last Updated on: 17th October 2023, 05:54 pm


Will I be banned from New York with federal drug conviction?

Getting convicted of a federal drug crime can have some serious consequences if you live in or want to visit New York. New York has some strict laws about keeping people with drug convictions out. But it really depends on the specifics of your situation. Let’s break it down.

Banned from public housing

If you live in public housing in New York and get convicted of a federal drug felony, you can be evicted and banned from public housing for life. This is true even if it was a minor offense or just for personal use. New York has a “one strike and you’re out” policy for people with drug convictions living in public housing. Here’s a story about a grandmother in NY who got evicted over a small amount of marijuana.

This lifetime ban seems really harsh, especially if you’re trying to get your life back on track after a conviction. Having stable housing can help with recovery and rehabilitation. But New York wants to get tough on drugs in public housing. If you live in public housing, a federal drug conviction could leave you homeless.

Trouble getting jobs

A federal drug conviction can also make it really hard to get a job in New York. Lots of employers do criminal background checks. When they see a drug conviction, you probably won’t get hired. This is true even if you’ve already served your sentence and paid your dues.

There are some protections in New York against employment discrimination for people with criminal records. The New York Correction Law says employers can’t deny you a job just because of a conviction unless it’s directly related to the job. But in reality, many employers still discriminate.

There are also some jobs you’ll be legally banned from if you have a federal drug conviction, like working in health care or child care. So a drug conviction can really limit your job options in New York.

Banned from getting federal student loans

Trying to go to college after a federal drug conviction? Well you won’t be able to get any federal student loans or grants if you have a recent drug conviction. This federal aid ban lasts a year after your first offense, two years after your second, and indefinitely after your third. So a drug conviction can make college way harder to afford.

This ban seems hypocritical when the government is supposedly trying to help people get education and skills after incarceration. Some states like California and Washington have passed laws to allow student aid despite drug convictions. But not New York. The federal aid ban will still apply there.

Banned from public benefits

Many public benefits like food stamps (SNAP) also aren’t available if you have a drug felony. The federal law blocks you from SNAP and TANF benefits if you have a felony drug conviction after August 22, 1996. This applies nationwide, including New York.

Again, it seems counterproductive to cut off food aid and cash assistance when people with convictions need help getting back on their feet. A few states like Washington found loopholes to avoid the benefits ban. But not New York, so you’ll likely be denied there.

Trouble finding housing

If you don’t live in public housing, a federal drug conviction can still make finding housing difficult in New York. Many landlords do criminal background checks and don’t want to rent to people with drug convictions. Landlords worry you might start selling drugs from their property or cause other problems.

Some cities ban housing discrimination based on criminal records. New York City has a fair chance housing law that’s supposed to help. But many landlords still find ways to avoid renting to people with convictions. Be prepared for lots of housing rejections.

Banned from getting business licenses

Trying to start your own business after a federal drug conviction? That could be tough in New York. The state requires a “good moral character” review for many occupational licenses. A drug conviction shows up as a red flag.

For example, you’ll have a hard time getting licensed as a real estate broker or barber with a drug conviction. The licensing boards can deny you just based on the conviction. So forget about starting a business if you have a record.

Banned from getting government contracts

What if you want to run a business that does work for the government? Many government agencies can ban you from getting contracts if you have a federal drug conviction. There are actually laws prohibiting contracts with people who use drugs illegally.

For example, the federal Drug-Free Workplace Act says government contractors have to maintain a drug-free workplace. So people with drug convictions often can’t get these contracts. Another barrier to earning a living.

Banned from getting business loans

Even if you manage to start a business in New York with a federal drug conviction, getting funding will be a challenge. Just like with housing, many banks do criminal background checks on loan applicants. A drug conviction is seen as a red flag.

The banks worry you might use the money for illegal purposes or won’t be reliable in repaying. Even if the conviction was long ago, that black mark stays on your record. You’ll have a much harder time getting approved for small business loans.

Banned from voting

Voting is one of our fundamental rights as U.S. citizens. But people with felony convictions, including federal drug offenses, lose their right to vote in New York. The state bans people on parole or in prison from voting.

Some states like Maine and Vermont allow people to vote while incarcerated. And 20 states restore voting rights after release from prison. But not New York. People there have to finish parole before re-gaining their right to vote.

Banned from jury duty

Jury duty is seen as a civic responsibility. But people with federal felony convictions are banned from serving on juries in New York. The state sees people with convictions as morally “unfit” to serve on a jury.

This seems like another overly harsh restriction. Banning entire groups of people from juries also skews the jury pool. But in New York, a federal drug conviction means you lose your chance at this important civic duty.

Banned from getting federal permits

Need any kind of federal permit or license for your work? A federal drug conviction can make you ineligible. For example, you can’t get a commercial driver’s license if you have a drug conviction. Any work requiring a federal permit – truck driving, explosives handling, dispensing medication – is off limits.

The federal government sees people with drug convictions as irresponsible or untrustworthy. So they impose bans on issuing permits and licenses. More barriers to earning a living and moving on with your life.

Banned from buying a gun

Want to buy a gun for hunting or self-defense after a federal drug conviction? Think again. Federal law bans anyone convicted of a felony or domestic violence from buying or owning firearms. A federal drug conviction counts as a felony.

Some states restore gun ownership rights if you get a conviction expunged or reduced to a misdemeanor. But in New York, the federal lifetime firearm ban still applies no matter what. A drug conviction means no guns allowed.

Banned from traveling abroad

Got plans to travel internationally after serving your sentence? A federal drug conviction can complicate things. Many countries ban entry to people with drug convictions. For example, Canada can deny you entry for a conviction for just simple drug possession.

Trying to travel abroad with a federal drug conviction means you risk getting denied entry and sent back home. You have to apply for special waivers and permissions, which is a big hassle. So your travel options are limited.

Banned from getting federal benefits

Federal benefits like Social Security, Medicare, disability and veterans benefits also aren’t available if you have a federal drug conviction. You can be denied benefits for up to one year for a first offense and up to five years for subsequent offenses.

This seems unfair when you may have paid into these programs for years before a conviction. But federal law sees drug offenses as a reason to cut you off from benefits, even temporarily. So be prepared to be denied.

Banned from getting security clearances

Many government and private jobs require security clearances to work on sensitive projects. But people with felony convictions like federal drug offenses are almost always denied clearances. The government sees convictions as a sign you can’t be trusted.

Some exceptions are made if the conviction was a long time ago. But in most cases, a federal drug conviction means you won’t qualify for security clearances, closing doors to lots of career options.

Banned from getting professional licenses

Many professions require special licenses, like doctors, nurses, lawyers, accountants, and engineers. But state licensing boards often deny licenses to applicants with felony drug convictions. Again, the conviction is seen as a sign of untrustworthiness.

Some states are passing laws to stop blanket license denials for people with criminal records. But in New York, many boards still deny licenses based solely on a drug conviction, regardless of the circumstances.

Banned from coaching kids

If you want to coach youth sports or be a scout leader after a federal drug conviction, forget it. New York bans people with all kinds of criminal convictions from working with kids. A drug offense is seen as putting children at risk.

This seems overly strict, especially for minor possession charges. People can change their lives after convictions. But New York still sees you as too much of a risk to be around children if you have any drug conviction.

Banned from working in finance

Many finance jobs require professional certifications and licenses. But organizations like the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) can ban you from getting licensed if you have a criminal record. Even minor drug convictions are seen as grounds for denial.

So if you want to have a career in finance after a federal drug conviction, you’ll have major hurdles to getting licensed in New York. You may be automatically disqualified by FINRA before you even get started.

Banned from working in transportation

Jobs in public transportation like driving a bus or train often do criminal background checks too. The transit agencies worry about safety risks from employees with drug convictions. So you’ll have a hard time working for any public transportation providers.

Private transportation companies like Uber also frequently ban drivers with drug offenses. So your options for working in transportation will be very limited after a federal conviction.

Banned from working in home healthcare

Want to work in home healthcare after a federal drug conviction? Probably not going to happen. Home healthcare agencies almost always do criminal background checks. And a drug conviction is seen as making you too high risk to send into patients’ homes.

Never mind if the conviction was years ago for a minor offense. The home healthcare industry sees any drug conviction as a liability. Another door closed to earning a living and getting your life back.

Banned from working in elder care

It’s the same story if you want to work in nursing homes, assisted living or other elder care. These facilities do strict background checks and won’t hire people with drug convictions. Again, the conviction makes you seem like too much of a risk around vulnerable seniors.

Free Consultation


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

White Glove Service

We Provide Superior Service, Excellent Results, At A Level Superior To Other Criminal Defense Law Firms. Regardless Of Where Your Case Is, Nationwide, We Can Help You.
View More

Request Free Consultation

Please fill out the form below to receive a free consultation, we will respond to
your inquiry within 24-hours guaranteed.


85 Broad St 30th Floor, New York, NY 10004


get directions

Los Angeles

611 S Catalina St Suite 222, Los Angeles, CA 90005


get directions


35-37 36th St, 2nd Floor Astoria, NY 11106


get directions


195 Montague St., 14th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201


get directions
Call Now!