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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.

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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.

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.

How Do Mandatory Minimum Sentences Work in New York?

How Do Mandatory Minimum Sentences Work in New York?

Overview of Mandatory Minimums in New York

New York has mandatory minimum sentences for various felony offenses. Some of the most common crimes carrying mandatory minimum prison terms include drug trafficking offenses, gun crimes, violent felonies, and sex offenses. The type and weight of the drug, the nature of the gun crime, the degree of violence used, and other factors determine the length of the mandatory term.

For example, selling 2 ounces or more of cocaine or possessing 4 ounces or more carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 3-10 years in prison (NY Penal Law §70.71). Committing a violent felony offense after a previous violent felony conviction brings a mandatory minimum 5-25 years. Mandatory minimums for sex offenses depend on the age of the victim, ranging from 2-25 years.

Arguments For and Against Mandatory Minimums

Proponents argue mandatory minimums:

  • Deter serious crimes like drug trafficking, gun violence, and sex offenses
  • Promote fair and equal treatment, rather than uneven sentences
  • Provide consistency and predictability in sentencing

Critics counter that they:

  • Contribute to overincarceration and prison overcrowding
  • Disproportionately impact minorities and low-income defendants
  • Remove judicial discretion to consider mitigating factors
  • Can seem unjust when the punishment doesn’t fit the specifics of the crime

Judges, criminal justice reform groups like the ACLU, and some politicians have called for reforming or abolishing mandatory minimums. But supporters argue they serve an important role in keeping the public safe from violent crime.

How Mandatory Minimums Limit Judicial Discretion

Federal and state laws determine the offenses carrying mandatory minimums and the length of those terms. This removes judges’ traditional authority at sentencing to consider factors like:

  • Defendant’s criminal history and likelihood to re-offend
  • Mitigating circumstances of the offense
  • Defendant’s cooperation with authorities
  • Defendant’s vulnerability to abuse in prison

Judges may disagree that the mandatory punishment fits the particular crime. But their hands are tied at sentencing. The prosecution can use mandatory minimums as leverage to pressure defendants into accepting plea deals to avoid long prison terms.

Some mandatory minimums also require consecutive sentencing. This means judges must sentence someone convicted of multiple charges carrying mandatory minimums to serve those terms back-to-back, rather than concurrently. This can result in extremely long prison sentences.

Recent Changes to Mandatory Minimums in New York

In recent years, New York has enacted some reforms to mandatory minimum sentencing, including:

  • Eliminating mandatory minimums for some drug offenses: The 2019 Drug Law Reform Act eliminated mandatory minimums for many lower-level drug felonies, including small-scale drug sales and possession. Judges regained discretion to sentence based on circumstances.
  • Adding judicial discretion: New laws gave judges some discretion to consider mitigating factors and divert certain offenders from mandatory minimums. For example, judges can now consider youthful offender status for 16-18 year olds facing mandatory prison for gun possession.
  • Expanding parole eligibility: While mandatory minimum sentences remain in place, some recent laws allow for earlier parole hearings for inmates who have served their minimum term.

However, mandatory minimums remain a major part of New York’s sentencing scheme for violent felonies, major drug trafficking, and sex crimes. Most advocates argue more reform is still needed.

The Future of Mandatory Minimum Sentences

The controversy around mandatory minimums continues. Some states have rolled back mandatory sentencing more aggressively in recent years. But full repeal remains politically difficult.

Public safety and rising crime rates could discourage more rollbacks to mandatory penalties, especially with violent offenses. But criminal justice reform groups will likely continue pushing for giving judges more discretion, arguing that overly-harsh mandatory minimums have caused more harm than good.


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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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