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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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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 is the Difference Between Felony and Misdemeanor in NYC?

Understanding Felony vs Misdemeanor Charges in New York City

Dealing with any kind of criminal charge can be scary and confusing. Trying to understand the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor in New York City can make things even more complicated. This guide breaks things down in simple terms to help you understand the key differences and potential consequences of felony vs misdemeanor charges in NYC.

What is a Felony?

A felony is generally considered the most serious type of criminal offense. Felony charges in New York typically come with long prison sentences – a year or more – as well as other harsh punishments like heavy fines and probation.

Some examples of felony charges in NYC include:

  • Violent crimes like murder, rape, robbery
  • Serious drug crimes like selling large quantities
  • Grand larceny (theft of over $1,000 in property value)
  • Fraud or identity theft over $1,000

Felonies are divided into different classes in New York based on their severity. The higher the felony class, the more serious the crime and the longer the potential prison sentence. For example:

  • Class A felonies – Most severe, up to life in prison
  • Class B felonies – Up to 25 years in prison
  • Class C and D felonies – Up to 15 years and 7 years in prison

So if you are facing charges like murder or rape, those would likely be Class A felonies with potentially decades in prison. Charges like selling drugs or major theft could fall under Class B-D with lower sentences. But any length of felony jail time is extremely serious.

What is a Misdemeanor?

A misdemeanor is a less serious criminal offense that generally comes with shorter jail sentences of under a year – often just days or months – along with smaller fines and probation sentences.

Some common NYC misdemeanor charges include:

  • Petty theft under $1,000
  • Minor assault charges
  • Low-level drug possession
  • DUI charges
  • Prostitution

So while misdemeanor charges should not be taken lightly, they don’t come with the extreme sentences that felony convictions do. However, some misdemeanors like DUI and domestic violence may still involve harsh punishments.

Misdemeanors are also divided into classes – A, B, and Unclassified – which determine sentencing. For example:

  • Class A Misdemeanors – Up to 1 year in jail
  • Class B Misdemeanors – Up to 3 months jail time
  • Unclassified – Varies depending on charge

So you can see even misdemeanor offenses have a wide range of potential consequences you need to take very seriously if charged.

Key Differences in Punishments

When looking at felony vs misdemeanor charges, the potential jail sentences are perhaps the biggest distinguishing factor. As noted above, felonies come with long multi-year prison sentences while misdemeanors cap out at under a year.

However, there are other major legal punishment differences as well:

  • Fines – Felonies carry fines up to $100,000+ while misdemeanors are generally $1,000 or less
  • Probation – Felons often get 5+ years probation vs under 1 year for misdemeanors
  • Criminal Record – Felonies are the most damaging to personal/professional reputation
  • Other Rights – Felony convictions lead to loss of voting, gun ownership, and other rights

So while misdemeanors have lighter sentences overall, they should never be taken lightly in NYC courts. Any criminal conviction can seriously impact your life.

What Determines the Charges?

So what leads to felony vs misdemeanor charges in the first place? In general, New York law enforcement and prosecutors consider the following factors:

  • Intent – Was the crime deliberate and planned out? That likely means more serious charges.
  • Violence – Crimes involving weapons, injuries and other violence often lead to felonies.
  • Value – Theft and fraud depends heavily on dollar value amounts.
  • Drug Type & Weight – More serious narcotics and larger quantities trigger felonies.
  • Defendant History – Repeat offenders face elevated charges.
  • Victim Type – Crimes against children, elderly see harsher charges.

Prosecutors hold a lot of power in deciding initial charges, but criminal defense lawyers can negotiate down charges in many cases through plea agreements and mitigating evidence.

While a skilled lawyer may reduce felony charges to misdemeanors in certain cases, it is not guaranteed. Factors like criminal history and state mandatory minimums also impact potential for charge reductions.

Sentencing Differences

If convicted of felony or misdemeanor charges, sentencing can vary widely based on the details of your specific case.

In felony cases, Class A-E determines sentencing ranges as noted earlier. Aggravating factors like violence, criminal history, lack of remorse may increase sentences within those ranges. Mitigating factors like a defendant’s background, mental health issues, rehabilitation willingness may lead to lighter sentences.

Misdemeanor sentencing also varies by Class A-B and case specifics. First-time offenders may see very light sentencing such as probation if they take accountability. But repeat offenders and serious circumstances may lead to the maximum jail time and fines.

It’s critical to have an experienced NYC criminal lawyer argue for mitigation at sentencing whether you plead out or go to trial. Their negotiation skills and sentencing advocacy could save you years behind bars.

If you are facing criminal charges in New York City, understand that both felony and misdemeanor convictions have the power to drastically impact your future. Don’t take chances navigating the complex justice system alone.

The skilled NYC defense attorneys at top firms like Phillips Nizer LLP have decades of experience fighting all manner of felony and misdemeanor cases. They will thoroughly examine the evidence against you, identify the best defense strategies for your unique situation, and build a strong argument to have charges reduced or dismissed.

The sooner you contact an attorney after arrest, the better – there are strict deadlines for important defense tasks like securing bail, requesting evidence, and negotiating with prosecutors. Take action now by calling one of NYC’s top-rated criminal lawyers for a free consultation and case evaluation. The right legal guidance could help you avoid harsh felony penalties and even clear your name of misdemeanor charges. Don’t leave your future up to chance – experienced criminal defense makes all the difference.

Frequently Asked Questions

How likely is it for felony charges to be reduced to misdemeanors?

There is no guarantee charges can be reduced, but skilled NYC defense lawyers negotiate reductions every day in cases with mitigating circumstances. They may argue flaws in evidence, overcharged crimes, health conditions, and other factors to sway prosecutors. It comes down to the details of each case.

What should I do if I’m facing criminal charges in New York City?

Immediately contact a top-rated NYC criminal defense attorney from a leading law firm. Do NOT speak to police without your lawyer present, as anything you say can be used to build a case against you. Invoke your right to remain silent. An attorney will handle communications and negotiations for the strongest defense.

Can a misdemeanor on my record be expunged in NYC?

Many misdemeanors can be sealed or expunged from a defendant’s criminal record either immediately or after a waiting period. An attorney can file the paperwork to clear the charges. Certain convictions like sexual crimes may not be eligible for record clearing.

Do I have to do jail time for a misdemeanor conviction?

Not necessarily – first offenses may lead to only probation, community service and fines. But penalties rise for repeat offenders. Jail time ranges up to 1 year depending on the class and circumstances around the misdemeanor. An attorney can argue for alternatives to incarceration.


For more information on understanding felony and misdemeanor charges in New York City, check out the following resources:

How New York Categorizes Crimes as Misdemeanors or Felonies

New York Misdemeanor Crimes by Class and Sentences

Sentencing Differences Between Felonies and Misdemeanors in New York

YouTube Video Explaining Felony vs Misdemeanor here.

Overview of expunging criminal records in New York from the state court system.

I hope this guide has helped explain the complex issues around felony and misdemeanor criminal charges in NYC. The most important thing is to immediately contact a skilled criminal defense attorney if you are facing prosecution. An experienced lawyer can carefully examine your charges and evidence, build the strongest defense strategy, negotiate for reductions when possible, and advocate for the lightest sentencing if convicted. Don’t leave your future up to chance – let a professional NYC defense lawyer protect your rights and interests during this difficult legal process.

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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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