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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.

Faced 3+ Years in Prison

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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.

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.

What Defenses Work for Graffiti Charges in New York City?

What Defenses Work for Graffiti Charges in New York City?

Common Graffiti Charges in New York City

There are a few main criminal charges in New York related to graffiti:

  • Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree – This is generally a class A misdemeanor charge for any damage between $250 and $1,000. It carries up to 1 year in jail.
  • Criminal Mischief in the Third Degree – A class E felony charge for damage between $1,000 and $3,000 to public or private property. Punishable by up to 4 years in prison.
  • Making Graffiti – A class A misdemeanor for unauthorized drawing, painting or etching on public or private property. Up to 1 year jail time.

Graffiti that targets trains, bridges, highways, public transport vehicles, or public facilities may face additional charges and penalties. Gang-related graffiti can also mean enhanced sentences.

Top 4 Defenses for Beating Graffiti Charges

1. Misidentification Defense

One of the best defenses for graffiti charges is showing misidentification – that the prosecution has the wrong person. Just because your name or tag was left at the scene doesn’t mean you actually did the graffiti. You may have an accomplice who is setting you up or used your name without permission.

An experienced NYC criminal lawyer can challenge the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt you were correctly identified as the perpetrator. This introduces reasonable doubt to beat the charges.

2. Vandalism vs. Art Debate Defense

There is an ongoing debate whether certain types of public graffiti should be considered art rather than vandalism. Your lawyer can argue the graffiti has artistic value rather than just mindless property damage.

For example, one case in NYC had charges dismissed after the defense attorney showed the man’s intricate graffiti murals took great skill and were not simple tagging. This turned it from criminal mischief into artistic expression protected under the First Amendment.

3. Lack of Criminal Intent Defense

To be convicted on a graffiti charge, the prosecution must prove you had criminal intent to damage or deface property without permission. You can fight charges by showing a lack of intent or mistaken belief the property was abandoned, open to graffiti, or that you had permission.

For example, defenses have worked when artists showed they were hired or given consent to do murals on buildings later charged as vandalism. If you can show a lack of criminal intent or mistaken belief of consent, it can beat a graffiti charge.

4. Sentencing Mitigation Strategies

Even if you can’t beat the criminal charges outright, experienced NYC defense lawyers have strategies to mitigate sentencing and punishment on graffiti convictions. This keeps misdemeanor charges from becoming felonies and aims to minimize jail time.

For example, we can show your positive character through character reference letters, demonstrate you have stopped illegal activity, or complete community service before sentencing to show rehabilitation.

For first-time and underage offenders, we can often negotiate alternative resolutions like deferred adjudication or probation programs instead of harsh graffiti sentences.

Finding the Best Graffiti Defense Lawyer in NYC

The key to beating a NYC graffiti charge is having an aggressive and creative criminal defense lawyer on your side familiar with the complexities of graffiti laws. Public defenders are overworked and generally recommend pleading out. You need a private attorney who has experience taking innovative graffiti defenses to trial.

When researching defense lawyers, look for these key traits:

  • Specialization in Graffiti Cases – Find lawyers like myself who focus specifically on graffiti and public art laws, not just any criminal attorney. This ensures complete expertise in the nuances that win.
  • Trial Experience – Ensure your lawyer has extensive litigation experience and regularly goes to trial rather than advising plea deals. This tenacity is key to getting charges dismissed. Ask about their graffiti trial record.
  • Negotiation Skills – Even when mounting an aggressive defense, you need an attorney adept at negotiating with judges and prosecutors to get favorable outcomes. Seasoned NYC lawyers have these relationships.
  • Resources & Creativity – Top graffiti lawyers have the investigative resources and creative vision to build innovative defenses around things like intent and misidentification.
  • Youth Focus – If you are a minor, it’s crucial to find a lawyer experienced specifically advocating for youth to minimize sentences.

If you or a loved one are facing graffiti charges in NYC, don’t leave freedom to chance. Contact my firm today for dedicated and aggressive legal representation. Call (555) 123-4567 or complete our online contact form. During your free case review, we will assess your charges, explain all defenses that could work, and customize a defense strategy to achieve the best possible outcome.

Frequently Asked Questions About Graffiti Defense in NYC

Should I admit to police I did graffiti?

Absolutely not! Admitting guilt gives the prosecution their case on a silver platter. No matter what police say, insist on having your lawyer present before answering any questions. NYC police use heavy intimidation tactics, but cannot legally force a confession without representation there.

What if police have photo/video evidence of me doing graffiti?

Even visual evidence still requires proving intent and identification. Skilled NYC lawyers know how to legally suppress photographic evidence or argue it’s inconclusive. Unless your face is clearly visible committing the act, photos or video alone are rarely enough to guarantee conviction.

What graffiti defenses work best for minors?

The top defense for minors is sentencing mitigation. Even if charges stick, NYC judges are often willing to impose community service and diversion programs rather than harsh sentences if we can demonstrate you’ve learned your lesson. Parents must be actively involved securing favorable resolutions for underage graffiti offenses.

Is it worth fighting NYC graffiti charges or should I plead guilty?

The short answer is yes – it’s almost always worth fighting graffiti accusations in NYC rather than pleading guilty right away. An experienced graffiti lawyer can often get charges reduced or dismissed entirely, minimizing fines and avoiding a permanent criminal record. The stakes are too high not to mount an aggressive legal defense.

Resources for Graffiti Laws in New York City

I hope this overview gives you a great starting point understanding graffiti defense options in the NYC legal system. Remember, acting quickly to engage an experienced criminal lawyer is critical for the best chance at beating your charges. Call my firm today or fill out our simple contact form for a free case evaluation from a top NYC graffiti attorney. We are here to help!

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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...

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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...

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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...

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