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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.

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Accused of stalking Alec Baldwin. The case garnered nationwide attention, with USAToday, NYPost, and other media outlets following it closely.

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Juror who prompted calls for new Ghislaine Maxwell trial turns to lawyer who defended Anna Sorokin.

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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.

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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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How Do Drug Courts Work in New York City? The Process Explained

How Do Drug Courts Work in New York City? The Process Explained

Overview of the Drug Court Process

When an individual is arrested for a nonviolent offense and identified as having a substance use disorder, the district attorney’s office may offer them the option to participate in the drug court program rather than face traditional prosecution. If the defendant chooses to participate, they will enter a guilty plea and agree to complete the drug court program which typically lasts 12-24 months.

The key components of New York City’s drug court process include:

  • Frequent court appearances – Participants are required to appear before the drug court judge on a regular basis, often starting with weekly hearings. This allows the judge to closely monitor compliance and progress.
  • Intensive outpatient treatment – Participants engage in substance use disorder treatment through programs that can include counseling, group therapy, medication-assisted treatment and other services. Treatment is typically an outpatient model where participants live at home and commute to services.
  • Random drug testing – Participants must submit to random drug tests that screen for recent drug and alcohol use. Missed or failed tests can result in sanctions.
  • Case management – Drug court staff provide case management services to assist participants in accessing treatment, as well as other community resources related to employment, education, housing, and family support.
  • Rewards and sanctions – Participants are rewarded for progress such as compliance with treatment and negative drug tests. Sanctions like more frequent court hearings, community service or brief jail stays may be imposed in response to issues like positive drug tests.

Completing the Drug Court Program

To successfully complete the drug court program, participants must meet all clinical and legal requirements over the course of 12-24 months:

  • Complete the prescribed course of substance use disorder treatment
  • Achieve set periods of abstinence from drugs and alcohol
  • Comply with random drug testing
  • Make regular appearances as required before the drug court judge
  • Pay all fines and fees imposed as part of drug court
  • Transition to a community-based recovery support program

Upon successful completion of the program, the original criminal charges are dismissed and expunged from the participant’s record. However, if someone fails out of drug court, their case goes back to traditional court prosecution.

The Benefits of Drug Court

Drug courts have demonstrated excellent outcomes for improving public health and public safety in New York City:

  • Over 75% of drug court graduates remain arrest-free at least two years after leaving the program, according to NYC statistics.
  • Participation in drug court has shown reductions in drug use and drug selling among participants, per research findings.
  • The annual taxpayer cost for drug court is $5,000 per participant, compared to $69,000 for incarceration in NYC jails, making it a cost-effective option, as discussed on Reddit.

Drug courts aim to address the root causes behind offenses through rehabilitation rather than solely through punishment. By providing tools and resources for recovery, drug courts seek to empower participants to end the cycles of addiction and crime.

Eligibility Requirements for Drug Court

While drug courts are open to many defendants struggling with drug addiction, there are some requirements for eligibility under New York state law:

  • Defendants must be charged with specific felony or misdemeanor drug offenses – the full list of qualifying charges is defined in Article 216 of the Criminal Procedure Law.
  • Eligible offenses include low-level drug sales and possession charges. Violent felonies do not qualify for drug court.
  • Defendants must have a verifiable substance use disorder. An evaluation will determine the severity of addiction and treatment needs.
  • The district attorney makes the final determination on admission to drug court following defense screening. Factors like criminal history are considered.

Candidates who successfully complete the drug court program will have their charges dismissed. However, there are certain exceptions where a defendant would still enter a guilty plea, serve a brief jail term, or receive probation.

A specialized drug court public defender can advise on all options and negotiate with the DA regarding program eligibility and sentencing outcomes. Those interested in applying to drug court are encouraged to consult with counsel.

The Drug Court Team Supporting Participants

Drug courts utilize a non-adversarial team approach to provide support and accountability for participants. The drug court team includes:

  • Judge – The drug court judge leads hearings, monitors participants, and delivers rewards/sanctions. Judges aim to form mentoring relationships.
  • Prosecutors – District attorneys review participants’ compliance, recommend program responses, and negotiate final agreements.
  • Defense attorneys – Defenders ensure participants’ legal rights are protected and advocate for their interests.
  • Case managers – Case managers coordinate treatment services, connect participants to resources, and provide counseling/coaching.
  • Treatment providers – Clinicians assess treatment needs, provide substance use disorder therapy, and report on clinical outcomes.
  • Community partners – Partners link participants to educational, vocational, housing and other stabilizing services.

The team supports each participant in meeting their recovery goals and completing the program. Team members collaborate to deliver a consistent message regarding participant expectations.

Locating Drug Courts in NYC

There are drug courts operating across New York City’s five boroughs:

Reaching out to your local drug court office or speaking with a criminal defense lawyer are good starting points to learn about options in your NYC borough.


Drug courts have had over thirty years of demonstrated success at reducing recidivism and improving public health outcomes. For eligible defendants, drug court provides an opportunity to transform lives by treating the underlying substance use disorders connected to criminal behavior.

Through accountability to a judge and support from a team of court staff and treatment providers, drug court participants gain tools for managing addiction and creating lasting change. Graduates report feeling empowered, with stronger family relationships and brighter futures.

If you or a loved one in New York City is struggling with addiction and facing criminal charges, exploring the drug court alternative could be a pathway to hope and healing. Consult with a dedicated drug court public defender to fully understand the legal options and program requirements in your unique situation.


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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

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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 feel comfortable and confident that the team was going to work hard for me. Everything was explained and any concerns...

~A G

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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

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