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


Presenting Medical Issues in NY Pre-Plea Memorandums

March 24, 2024

Presenting Medical Issues in NY Pre-Plea Memorandums

Being accused of a crime is stressful enough; but when you‘re also dealing with medical issues, it can feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. As an experienced criminal defense firm, we understand how overwhelming this situation can be. That‘s why we’re here to guide you through the process of presenting your medical conditions in a pre-plea memorandum – so the court has a complete picture before deciding on your case.

What is a Pre-Plea Memorandum?

A pre-plea memorandum (or sentencing memorandum) is basically a letter to the judge that lays out all the details and mitigating factors surrounding your case. It’s your chance to humanize yourself and explain why a particular sentence would be appropriate (or why you shouldn‘t be incarcerated at all). This document is crucial because it shapes the judge’s perception of you before any plea deal is accepted or sentence is handed down.

Why Medical Issues Matter

Look, we get it – talking about your personal health struggles is awkward and uncomfortable. But presenting legitimate medical issues to the court can make a huge difference, especially when it comes to sentencing. Judges need to understand how incarceration could negatively impact your wellbeing or ability to receive proper treatment. It’s not about getting out of trouble; it’s about ensuring you receive a fair and appropriate sentence that accounts for all circumstances.Maybe you have a physical disability that would make prison conditions extremely difficult. Or perhaps you‘re struggling with mental health issues and need continued access to counseling services. Heck, it could even be a chronic condition like diabetes that requires specialized medical care and dietary needs. Whatever it is, the court deserves to know.

Building Your Case

So how do you actually present these medical factors in your pre-plea memo? By being upfront, thorough, and letting the facts speak for themselves. Here’s a general gameplan:

Get Documentation

  • Gather all relevant medical records, test results, doctor’s notes, prescriptions, etc. Don’t leave any stone unturned.
  • If needed, get a comprehensive report from your treating physician(s) that clearly outlines your condition(s), symptoms, treatment plan, and how incarceration could impact your health.

Explain the Impacts

  • In plain language, describe how your medical issue(s) affect your daily life, activities, and functioning. Don’t hold back details.
  • Discuss how the prison environment (lack of accommodations, limited medical resources, etc.) could exacerbate your condition or create new health risks.
  • If you require regular treatment, explain why interrupting that treatment plan could be detrimental.

Suggest Alternatives

  • Propose alternatives to incarceration like home confinement, intensive probation, or a treatment program that allows you to properly manage your health.
  • Highlight how these options still achieve justice while preventing unnecessary suffering.

Use Precedent

  • Research similar cases where medical factors influenced sentencing (you can find examples on Reddit or Quora). Cite how your situation aligns with those precedents.
  • Reference specific laws or guidelines that require judges to consider medical issues (like this one).

Get Supporting Evidence

  • Provide letters from medical professionals, employers, community members, etc. vouching for your character and need for reasonable accommodations.
  • Include information on your family situation, employment status, and other mitigating personal factors.

The key is painting a complete, sympathetic picture supported by hard evidence – not just pleading for mercy. With a well-constructed pre-plea memo, you‘re arming the judge with all the context needed to render the most appropriate decision for your circumstances.

A Human Approach

At the end of the day, we’re all human. Judges understand that life gets complicated and messy sometimes. By being upfront about your medical struggles from the start, you’re showing good faith and giving the court no reason to question your honesty.It’s a delicate balance though. You don‘t want to come across as making excuses or being disingenuous. That‘s why it’s so crucial to have an experienced defense attorney guiding you. We know how to professionally present this sensitive information in a way that advocates for your rights and wellbeing, without ever diminishing the seriousness of your charges.

Getting the Right Representation

If you’re facing charges and have medical issues to disclose, don‘t go it alone. Having a top-notch legal team like Spodek Law Group in your corner can make all the difference. With over 50 years of combined federal experience, we‘ve mastered the art of crafting compelling pre-plea memorandums that humanize our clients and pursue the best possible outcomes.We’re also upfront about our competitive fees and flexible payment plans because the last thing you need is another financial stressor. Our number one priority is providing you with the respect, discretion and zealous advocacy you deserve as we navigate this challenging situation together.So if you’re looking for federal lawyers in New York who will treat your medical issues with empathy and fight tirelessly for your rights, look no further than Spodek Law Group. Give us a call today at 212-210-1851 and let’s get started.

The Importance of Disclosing Medical Conditions Early

Dealing with legal troubles is hard enough without throwing medical issues into the mix. But the reality is, your health can play a huge role in how your case gets handled – so it’s crucial to get out ahead of it from day one.See, judges have to weigh a lot of different factors when deciding on things like bail, plea deals, and sentencing. And your physical or mental condition is definitely one of those factors, whether you like it or not. By being upfront and providing documentation early on, you‘re giving them a full picture of who you are as a person and what’s really going on.On the flip side, trying to hide or downplay any medical problems is a huge mistake. Best case scenario, it comes out eventually anyway and now the court questions your credibility. Worst case, you end up in a situation that seriously jeopardizes your health and wellbeing. It’s just not worth the risk.

The Benefits of Early Disclosure

Okay, so why is it better to rip off the band-aid right away? Here are a few key benefits of disclosing medical conditions upfront:It Humanizes You

  • Look, judges see case files all day long. By sharing your personal health struggles, you’re reminding them that you’re not just a number – you’re a human being with real issues to consider.
  • It makes you seem more upfront, honest, and willing to take responsibility for your situation.

It Shapes the Narrative

  • Getting out in front of your medical details allows you to control how that sensitive information is presented and perceived.
  • Your lawyer can properly contextualize things from the start, rather than having to do damage control later.

It Impacts Key Decisions

  • Bail considerations, plea negotiations, and sentencing recommendations can all be influenced by timely medical disclosures.
  • Judges may be more open to alternatives like treatment programs if they understand the full scope of your needs.

It Protects Your Rights

  • Failing to disclose issues could be seen as withholding information, which judges really don’t like.
  • It also ensures you get access to proper healthcare accommodations and resources from the get-go.

At the end of the day, the justice system is (theoretically) about rehabilitation and fairness as much as punishment. By getting your medical details on the table transparently, you‘re simply giving the court a chance to handle your case with full context. It’s as much about protecting yourself as it is about doing the right thing.

Common Medical Factors to Disclose

So what exactly constitutes a “medical issue” worth disclosing to the courts? The short answer is: pretty much anything that impacts your daily functioning and could realistically affect your experience while incarcerated or on probation.Obviously, we’re talking about way more than just your average cold or allergies here. These are the types of chronic, serious, or disability-related conditions that demand special accommodations and considerations:Physical Disabilities or Impairments

  • Mobility issues, paralysis, amputations, etc. that require accessiblity accommodations
  • Conditions that put you at higher risk in general population (immunodeficiency, organ transplants, etc.)

Chronic Illnesses

  • Diseases like cancer, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, multiple sclerosis, etc. requiring ongoing treatment
  • Autoimmune disorders, chronic pain conditions, and other persistent issues

Mental Health Struggles

  • Mood disorders like depression, bipolar, anxiety, etc.
  • Neurodevelopmental conditions like autism spectrum disorder
  • Trauma histories, PTSD, and other psychological concerns

Substance Abuse Issues

  • Alcohol and drug addictions or dependencies
  • Histories of overdoses, relapses, or failed sobriety

Cognitive or Neurological Impairments

  • Intellectual or developmental disabilities
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Neurological disorders like Parkinson’s, dementia, etc.

The key point? If it‘s something that significantly impacts your daily life and ability to function “normally,” it‘s probably worth disclosing and getting documentation for. Better to err on the side of over-sharing than having something slip through the cracks.And remember, it’s not just about physical conditions. Mental health absolutely counts too. In fact, those issues are often going to be the biggest factors when it comes to evaluating proper sentencing and rehabilitation programs.

Presenting Mental Health Struggles

Speaking of mental health, let’s dig a little deeper into how to properly present those types of conditions and get them weighted appropriately.We’re talking about things like:

  • Depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and other mood disorders
  • PTSD, trauma histories, and other stress/anxiety conditions
  • Autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, and intellectual disabilities
  • Substance abuse and addiction issues

The tough part about mental health is that the struggles aren’t always obvious or well-documented, especially for conditions that have developed more recently. Maybe you’ve been putting off treatment, are embarrassed to open up about it, or just haven’t made the connection between your mental state and recent behavior.That’s why it’s so important to get a comprehensive psychological evaluation done as part of your case preparations. You want a clear, professional assessment of exactly what you’re dealing with and how it ties into the charges against you.From there, your lawyer can help explain things like:

  • How your condition impacted your mindset and decision-making at the time of the incident
  • What kinds of treatment or medication protocols you need to properly manage your symptoms
  • Why interrupting that treatment could be detrimental to your stability and rehabilitation
  • How the harsh environment of incarceration could exacerbate pre-existing mental health issues

The goal isn‘t to make excuses, but to illustrate how factors outside your control influenced your actions, and why alternatives like treatment programs or community supervision might be more appropriate and effective than locking you up.It’s a fine line to walk, but an experienced lawyer will know how to advocate for your mental health needs while still taking responsibility for your actions. We’ll make sure you get a fair shake and a sentence that accounts for the full context of your situation.

Substance Abuse & Addiction Factors

Substance abuse and addiction are another huge factor that often intersect with criminal charges in a major way. Maybe you struggled with alcoholism or drug dependency for years. Or perhaps a recent downward spiral played a direct role in the incident you’re being accused of.Either way, if substance issues contributed to your charges, those need to be front and center in your pre-plea memorandum and case preparations. Addiction is a disease, and the court needs to understand your history, current state, and treatment needs moving forward.Some key things to highlight:

  • Your history with substance abuse and any periods of sobriety
  • Specific substances you’ve struggled with and their effects
  • Any overdoses, hospitalizations, or near-death experiences related to your addiction
  • Current state – are you still actively using? How much? How often?
  • What treatment programs or support groups you’ve participated in
  • Why a sober, structured environment is critical for your recovery

The main thing is painting a clear, honest picture of how addiction has impacted your life and decision-making. Don’t hold back or try to appear stronger than you are. Judges need to understand the full extent of the disease you’re battling.From there, your lawyer can advocate for alternatives to incarceration like in-patient treatment programs, drug court programs, or stringent probation terms designed to support your sobriety and recovery

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