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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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Clients can use our portal to track the status of their case, stay in touch with us, upload documents, and more.

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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 Hate Crime in New York City? Penalties

What Qualifies as a Hate Crime in New York City? Penalties

A hate crime refers to a traditional offense like assault, arson, or vandalism that is motivated by bias against a victim’s race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability or gender identity. New York has strong laws prohibiting hate crimes and imposing enhanced penalties on perpetrators.

What Qualifies as a Hate Crime

Under New York law, a crime qualifies as a hate crime when:

  • The perpetrator intentionally targets the victim because of their protected characteristic, and
  • Commits a specified offense like harassment, menacing, assault or criminal mischief.

The victim’s protected characteristic can include race, religion, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Common qualifying offenses include:

  • Assault – Causing injury to another person
  • Menacing – Threatening to cause physical harm
  • Harassment – Repeatedly committing acts to alarm or seriously annoy another person
  • Criminal mischief – Damaging or destroying another’s property

So if someone commits one of these offenses and intentionally selects the victim because of their race, religion, etc., it can be charged as a hate crime.

Penalties for Hate Crimes

New York imposes heightened penalties on perpetrators convicted of hate crimes including increased jail time and higher fines.

For example, the penalty for a basic misdemeanor assault is up to 1 year in jail. But if that assault is deemed a hate crime, the possible sentence increases to up to 4 years.

Here are some examples of the increased penalties for hate crimes:

Offense Basic Penalty Hate Crime Penalty
Misdemeanor Assault Max 1 year jail Up to 4 years jail
Felony Assault Up to 7 years prison Up to 15 years prison
Arson Up to 25 years prison Up to 25 years to life prison
Aggravated Harassment Up to 1 year jail Up to 4 years jail

As the table shows, hate crimes can significantly increase the defendant’s sentencing exposure. Prosecutors also tend to pursue the maximum penalty allowed under the law for hate crimes.

Reporting Hate Crimes

It’s important to report suspected hate crimes to the New York Police Department. You can make a report by:

  • Calling 911 for emergency situations
  • Visiting your local police precinct for non-emergencies
  • Calling the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS

When making any report, try to provide as much information as possible including details about the perpetrator, names of any witnesses, and the victim’s protected characteristic that motivated the crime.

Proving Hate Crime Charges

For a prosecutor to obtain a hate crime conviction, they must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intentionally selected the victim because of their protected characteristic.

Key evidence establishing motive can include:

  • The perpetrator making verbal slurs or threats about the victim’s race, religion, etc.
  • The perpetrator only targeting victims of a certain protected group
  • The perpetrator having a history of making derogatory racial remarks on social media for example
  • The crime occurring on a holiday or date of significance for the victim’s racial/religious group

Without sufficient evidence of motive, the defendant may be convicted of the underlying assault or vandalism charge. But the hate crime penalty enhancement likely won’t apply.

Defending Against Hate Crime Charges

There are various legal defenses that a hate crime lawyer might raise to contest the charges including:

  • No biased intent – Argue the defendant did not intentionally target the victim based on their race, sexual orientation etc.
  • Misidentification – Challenge identity evidence placing the defendant at the crime scene
  • Self-defense – Argue the defendant’s actions were legally justified to protect themselves
  • First Amendment – For speech-based crimes, argue the defendant’s statements are protected free speech

An experienced attorney can evaluate the available evidence and determine the best defense strategy based on the specific facts of your case.

What Happens If You Are Convicted

If you are convicted of a hate crime, the judge will impose sentencing including jail, fines and probation based on the enhanced penalty provisions. The conviction will also remain permanently on your criminal record.

Other possible consequences include:

  • Difficulty finding employment – Many employers conduct background checks and will see the hate crime conviction
  • Bars from certain occupations – Certain fields like education, security services, etc. often prohibit hiring individuals with hate crime records
  • Reputational harm – News reports about the crime and conviction can cause significant damage to your reputation
  • Civil lawsuits – Victims may file a civil lawsuit to seek money damages against you

These severe collateral consequences demonstrate why obtaining experienced legal help immediately after an arrest is critical. An attorney may be able to get charges reduced or dismissed or pursue a better plea deal to avoid a hate crime on your record.


Hate crimes that target victims because of their race, sexual orientation or other protected characteristics are taken very seriously in NYC. These offenses carry substantially increased penalties under New York law compared to similar non-bias crimes. Anyone facing prosecution for a suspected hate crime should retain counsel from a criminal defense lawyer as early in the process as possible. An experienced attorney can carefully examine the evidence and apply well-crafted defenses to achieve the best possible outcome.


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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

5 Stars
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

5 Stars
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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