24/7 call for a free consultation 212-300-5196




When you’re facing a federal issue, you need an attorney whose going to be available 24/7 to help you get the results and outcome you need. The value of working with the Spodek Law Group is that we treat each and every client like a member of our family.

Client Testimonials



The BEST LAWYER ANYONE COULD ASK FOR!!! Todd changed our lives! He’s not JUST a lawyer representing us for a case. Todd and his office have become Family. When we entered his office in August of 2022, we entered with such anxiety, uncertainty, and so much stress. Honestly we were very lost. My husband and I felt alone. How could a lawyer who didn’t know us, know our family, know our background represents us, When this could change our lives for the next 5-7years that my husband was facing in Federal jail. By the time our free consultation was over with Todd, we left his office at ease. All our questions were answered and we had a sense of relief.

schedule a consultation


Buffalo, NY Criminal Defense Lawyers Explain the Sentencing Process

March 21, 2024 Uncategorized


Buffalo, NY Criminal Defense Lawyers Explain the Sentencing Process

Getting arrested and charged with a crime in Buffalo can be an incredibly stressful and frightening experience. As a defendant, you may feel anxious about what will happen next and unsure about how to navigate the criminal justice system. That’s why it’s so important to have an experienced Buffalo criminal defense lawyer on your side to guide you through the process and fight for the best possible outcome.

Role of the Judge in Determining a Sentence

In New York, judges have wide latitude when it comes to sentencing for felony criminal convictions. They are not bound by strict sentencing guidelines or mandatory minimums that limit judicial discretion in some other states.

While judges are still constrained by statutory limits set by the legislature, they can generally impose any sentence they deem appropriate within those ranges. The judge will consider factors like:

  • Seriousness of the offense
  • Defendant’s criminal history
  • Impact on victims
  • Defendant’s background, character, and prospects for rehabilitation
  • Sentencing recommendations and arguments by attorneys
  • Guidelines and policies set by the legislature
  • Public safety and deterrence of crime

For example, in New York, the maximum sentence for a Class B felony like burglary is 25 years. But a judge could potentially impose any sentence between 1-25 years depending on the case circumstances.

This wide discretion allows judges to fashion sentences tailored to the facts of each case. However, it also leads to inconsistencies, as different judges may weigh factors like rehabilitation versus punishment differently.

How an Attorney Can Help at Sentencing

A skilled Buffalo criminal defense attorney has many strategies they can use to help their client get the most favorable outcome at sentencing:

  • Negotiate plea deals with sentencing recommendations or guarantees – The strongest influence over sentencing is at the plea bargain stage. Attorneys can negotiate for sentencing caps or agreed-upon terms.
  • Advocate for diversion programs as an alternative to incarceration – For appropriate defendants, programs like drug treatment or mental health counseling can be effective alternatives.
  • Highlight mitigating factors to the judge – The attorney thoroughly investigates the defendant’s background and prepares evidence and witnesses to present mitigating factors.
  • Object to errors in the pre-sentence report – If the report contains inaccuracies, disputed facts, or unsupported conclusions, the attorney demands changes.
  • Challenge aggravating factors raised by the prosecution – The attorney rebuts any exaggerations or questionable assertions made by the prosecution.
  • Present expert testimony – Testimony from psychologists, addiction specialists, etc. can provide context for a defendant’s mental state, trauma history, or prognosis.
  • Submit letters of support – Letters from family, friends, employers, clergy, and community members help “humanize” the defendant and demonstrate their positive traits.
  • Make persuasive arguments for leniency – During the sentencing hearing itself, the attorney passionately argues why the mitigating factors merit a lesser sentence.
  • Request a delayed surrender date – The attorney can ask the judge to allow time before the defendant must self-surrender, to get affairs in order.
  • Explain the appeals process – After sentencing, the attorney advises on potential grounds for appeal and strategies to get the sentence reduced.

Having an experienced Buffalo criminal defense lawyer makes a huge difference in the sentencing process. Their advocacy can help defendants avoid harsh sentences that don’t fit the circumstances of their case.


Going through sentencing after a criminal conviction is a difficult experience full of uncertainty and fear for most defendants. By understanding the process and role of the judge, probation department, and your defense attorney, you can feel better prepared.

An experienced Buffalo criminal defense attorney will fight aggressively to present mitigating factors on your behalf and secure the most favorable outcome possible. While they can’t make absolute guarantees, their advocacy can help persuade the judge to show leniency when appropriate given the facts of your case.

Don’t hesitate to discuss all your concerns and questions with your attorney. And remember that in many cases, sentencing is not necessarily the end. Other legal options like appeals may be available even after a sentence is imposed. So maintain hope that with the help of your lawyer, justice can still prevail in your case.

Lawyers You Can Trust

Todd Spodek

Founding Partner

view profile



view profile


Associate Attorney

view profile



view profile



view profile



view profile



view profile

Criminal Defense Lawyers Trusted By the Media

schedule a consultation
Schedule Your Consultation Now