Covered by NYDaily News. Las Vegas man accused of threatening a prominent attorney and making vile remarks.
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.
Accused of stalking Alec Baldwin. The case garnered nationwide attention, with USAToday, NYPost, and other media outlets following it closely.
Juror who prompted calls for new Ghislaine Maxwell trial turns to lawyer who defended Anna Sorokin.
Clients can use our portal to track the status of their case, stay in touch with us, upload documents, and more.
Regardless of the type of situation you're facing, our attorneys are here to help you get quality representation.
We can setup consultations in person, over Zoom, or over the phone to help you. Bottom line, we're here to help you win your case.
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.
Navigating the legal system when facing criminal charges can be incredibly confusing and stressful. Many people charged with federal crimes in Queens may qualify for representation by a federal public defender, which is free legal counsel appointed by the court. This article provides an overview of federal public defenders in Queens and the eligibility requirements.
Federal public defenders are attorneys appointed by federal courts to represent criminal defendants who cannot afford to hire a lawyer. They are full-time federal government employees, not private practice attorneys. Public defenders have specialized expertise in federal criminal defense and serve an important role in ensuring fair access to justice.To qualify for a federal public defender in the Eastern District of New York, which includes Queens, an individual must demonstrate that they are financially unable to retain counsel. Specific eligibility guidelines are discussed in more detail below.
Federal public defender services are not automatically appointed to all criminal defendants. The court conducts an investigation into the person’s financial circumstances to determine if they qualify.In general, public defender services are limited to those unable to afford retained counsel without substantial financial hardship to themselves or their dependents. However, eligibility is decided on a case-by-case basis considering all relevant factors.
Those seeking public defender representation must complete a financial affidavit disclosing their income, assets, obligations, and expenses. This includes things like:
They must also list any financial obligations like mortgages, loans, child support, alimony, and other debts. Basic living expenses are considered as well.This affidavit provides the judge with a complete picture of the person’s financial position.
While there are no rigid income cutoffs, those earning up to 250% of the federal poverty guidelines are generally assumed eligible. However, defendants who earn more may still qualify by demonstrating lack of disposable income after expenses.Here are the 2024 federal poverty guidelines, with 250% thresholds listed:
|250% of Guideline
*For families with over 5 members, add $5,970 per additional person to calculate the poverty guideline and 250% threshold.So for example, a single person earning up to $35,263 would likely qualify for a public defender, while someone with a household of four would qualify if earning $72,538 or less.
In addition to income, assets are considered when determining eligibility. While some assets are excluded, like a primary residence or vehicle, most other assets are counted against the threshold.The asset limit is currently $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for a multi-person household. Retirement accounts up to $50,000 per dependent are excluded.So if the total value of cash, bank accounts, investments, etc. exceeds these asset thresholds, the person may not qualify for free federal public defender services.
As part of the eligibility investigation, the judge will also consider if the defendant has the ability to post bond. Those able to afford the bond amount without significant hardship generally do not qualify for free court-appointed counsel.However, exceptions are sometimes made if paying the bond would bankrupt the person or prevent them from paying basic living expenses like rent or utilities.
If after reviewing the financial affidavit, income data, assets, and other information the judge determines the person cannot reasonably afford to hire counsel, a federal public defender from the Eastern District will likely be appointed to the case.A federal public defender may also be appointed if the person initially hires private counsel but later demonstrates they cannot continue paying legal fees without incurring substantial hardship.Defendants who are found able to afford retained counsel can still apply for “CJA counsel” – private attorneys who are paid hourly fees at reduced rates by the courts. So they have some assistance in covering legal costs but do not qualify for free representation.
Eligibility for a federal public defender is not just determined once. The courts have an obligation to continually scrutinize the person’s finances throughout the duration of the case.If the financial situation changes substantially, such as if the person inherits money or wins the lottery, the judge may terminate federal defender services. The person would then have to demonstrate inability to afford counsel again or hire private counsel.
The federal courts have a duty to ensure those facing criminal prosecution have access to legal representation, regardless of ability to pay. Federal public defenders in Queens provide free, specialized criminal defense services to those who cannot afford to hire an attorney on their own without financial hardship.While the eligibility requirements attempt to limit services only to those truly in need, the system is not perfect. Borderline cases fall through the cracks, and some who should qualify get denied. Nonetheless, federal public defenders fill a critical role in upholding every American’s right to counsel.
Overview of federal public defender services: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_public_defender2023 financial affidavit form: https://img.nyed.uscourts.gov/files/forms/CJA23A.pdf2024 federal poverty guidelines: https://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty-guidelines
Please fill out the form below to receive a free consultation, we will respond to
your inquiry within 24-hours guaranteed.