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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.

What Qualifies as a Criminal Threat in New York City? Penalties

What Qualifies as a Criminal Threat in New York City? Penalties

In New York, a person can be charged with making a criminal threat, also known as menacing, for threatening to harm someone or their property. This covers threats made in person, over the phone, online, or in writing.

What Constitutes a Criminal Threat?

For a statement to qualify as a criminal threat in New York, it must meet the following criteria:

  • Intent to Harm or Frighten: The threat must be intended to either harm the victim or frighten them into believing they will be harmed. If it was clearly made as a joke or idle talk, it may not qualify.
  • Reasonable Fear: The threat must be realistic enough to reasonably cause the victim to fear for their safety or the safety of their property. Even if not carried out, it must seem plausible.
  • Clear and Direct: The threat must clearly state the intention to harm the victim or their property. It cannot merely suggest violence.

Some examples of criminal threats include:

  • Telling someone “I am going to kill you”
  • Saying “I’m going to blow up your car” or “I’m going to burn down your house”
  • Posting detailed plans online to shoot or bomb a specific place or person

More indirect statements like “you better watch your back” would likely not qualify on their own without additional context showing intent to harm.

Penalties for Making Criminal Threats

Making a criminal threat is a misdemeanor offense in New York, carrying the following penalties:

  • Up to 1 year in jail
  • Fines of up to $1,000
  • A permanent criminal record

However, more serious threats can be charged as felonies, such as terroristic threats involving threats to commit violence against groups of people or property. These carry penalties of:

  • Up to 7 years in prison
  • Fines up to $5,000
  • Felony criminal record

Other factors can also increase the penalties, such as:

  • Repeat Offenses: Additional charges for those previously convicted of menacing or similar charges.
  • Use of a Deadly Weapon: Threats involving displaying or claiming to have a weapon.
  • Against Protected Groups: Harsher charges for threats targeting someone based on their race, religion, sexual orientation, or other protected class.

Defenses Against Criminal Threat Charges

Some potential legal defenses against a criminal threat charge include:

  • No Real Intent to Harm: Argue there was no actual intent to harm anyone, such as a misunderstanding or statement made out of anger that you did not mean.
  • No Reasonable Fear Produced: Argue the alleged victim had no real, reasonable belief you would follow through on the threat.
  • First Amendment Rights: Argue your statement is protected free speech under the First Amendment if not a direct and credible threat.
  • False Accusations: Argue the alleged victim is falsely accusing you of making threats out of malice or for other reasons.

An experienced criminal defense lawyer can evaluate the specifics of your case and determine if any defenses may apply to get the charges against you reduced or dismissed.

What to Do If You Are Accused of Making Threats

If questioned by police about threats or arrested for menacing charges, it is important to immediately invoke your right to remain silent until you have legal counsel. Anything you say can be used against you, so do not try to explain yourself without a lawyer present.

In addition:

  • Do not attempt to contact the alleged victim, as this can be considered witness intimidation.
  • Save any evidence that could help your case, such as texts, online posts, voicemails, or other records.
  • Consider security camera footage, receipts, or other proof you were elsewhere at the time.
  • Have witnesses who can testify to your character or other essential facts ready.

With an experienced criminal defense attorney helping build your defense, you stand the best chance of avoiding harsh penalties for menacing and other criminal threat accusations in New York. They will thoroughly analyze the prosecution’s case against you and identify any illegal actions, procedural mistakes, or constitutional violations that could lead to evidence being thrown out or charges reduced or dismissed.

Finding a NYC Criminal Defense Lawyer

If facing criminal charges involving threats in New York City, it is critical to have a knowledgeable local attorney defending your rights. Lawyers at NYCDefenseLawyer.com have successfully defended thousands accused of NYC menacing, assault, sex crimes, theft, and other charges. They offer free case evaluations so you can discuss the details and build the strongest defense strategy right away.

With an aggressive defense focused on highlighting any flaws in the prosecution’s case and upholding your constitutional rights, many of our clients have achieved dismissals, acquittals, and avoidance of harsh penalties. Contact our NYC criminal defense firm online or call (212) 323-7409 today to schedule a free consultation and case evaluation.


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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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