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How We Got All Federal Charges Dismissed Post-Indictment

March 21, 2024 Uncategorized

 

How We Got All Federal Charges Dismissed Post-Indictment

Getting federal charges dismissed after an indictment is rare — but it can be done. As criminal defense attorneys who have achieved full dismissals for clients charged with serious federal felonies, we want to share how we’ve successfully gotten indictments thrown out even after charges were filed.

Federal indictments are no joke. Once that grand jury hands down an indictment, the battle is uphill. The government has already presented evidence to get charges approved; now they just need to prove it at trial.

That’s why the best chance at beating an indictment is before it’s issued. But for defendants who get indicted without knowing it, or who don’t lawyer up until after the charges are filed, all hope is not lost.

Let’s walk through real defense strategies and legal precedents we’ve used to get federal indictments dismissed after the fact — even for major felony charges.

Using Statute of Limitations to Nullify an Indictment

The statute of limitations is one of the top ways we look to overturn a federal indictment after the fact. Basically, this law sets a deadline for prosecutors to file charges for a given crime.

For most federal felonies, the statute is 5 years. So if 6 years passed since the alleged crime before charges were filed, the indictment can get tossed based on the time limit expiring.

Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
2024-03-21
Just had my Divorce case settled 2 months ago after having a horrible experience with another firm. I couldn’t be happier with Claire Banks and Elizabeth Garvey with their outstanding professionalism in doing so with Spodek Law Group. Any time I needed questions answered they were always prompt in doing so with all my uncertainties after 30 yrs of marriage.I feel from the bottom of my heart you will NOT be disappointed with either one. Thanks a million.
Brendan huisman
Brendan huisman
2024-03-18
Alex Zhik contacted me almost immediately when I reached out to Spodek for a consultation and was able to effectively communicate the path forward/consequences of my legal issue. I immediately agreed to hire Alex for his services and did not regret my choice. He was able to cover my case in court (with 1 day notice) and not only was he able to push my case down, he carefully negotiated a dismissal of the charge altogether. I highly recommend Spodek, and more specifically, Alex Zhik for all of your legal issues. Thanks guys!
Guerline Menard
Guerline Menard
2024-03-18
Thanks again Spodek law firm, particularly Esq Claire Banks who stood right there with us up to the finish line. Attached photos taken right outside of the court building and the smile on our faces represented victory, a breath of fresh air and satisfaction. We are very happy that this is over and we can move on with our lives. Thanks Spodek law 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼❤️
Keisha Parris
Keisha Parris
2024-03-15
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko Beauty
Taïko Beauty
2024-03-15
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence. Thank you team!
Anthony Williams
Anthony Williams
2024-03-12
Hey, how you guys doing? Good afternoon my name is Anthony Williams I just want to give a great shout out to the team of. Spodek law group. It is such a honor to use them and to use their assistance through this whole case from start to finish. They did everything that they said they was gonna do and if it ever comes down to it, if I ever have to use them again, hands-down they will be the first law office at the top of my list, thank you guys so much. It was a pleasure having you guys by my side so if you guys ever need them, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give them a call.
Loveth Okpedo
Loveth Okpedo
2024-03-12
Very professional, very transparent, over all a great experience
Bee L
Bee L
2024-02-28
Amazing experience with Spodek! Very professional lawyers who take your case seriously. They treated me with respect, were always available, and answered any and all questions. They were able to help me very successfully and removed a huge stress. Highly recommend.
divesh patel
divesh patel
2024-02-24
I can't recommend Alex Zhik and Spodek Law Firm highly enough for their exceptional legal representation and personal mentorship. From the moment I engaged their services in October 2022, Alex took the time to understand my case thoroughly and provided guidance every step of the way. Alex's dedication to my case went above and beyond my expectations. His expertise, attention to detail, and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome were evident throughout the entire process. He took the time to mentor me, ensuring I understood the legal complexities involved to make informed decisions. Alex is the kind of guy you would want to have a beer with and has made a meaningful impact on me. I also want to acknowledge Todd Spodek, the leader of the firm, who played a crucial role in my case. His leadership and support bolstered the efforts of Alex, and his involvement highlighted the firm's commitment to excellence. Thanks to Alex Zhik and Todd Spodek, I achieved the outcome I desired, and I am incredibly grateful for their professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. If you're in need of legal representation, look no further than this outstanding team.

The legal provision for this is 18 U.S. Code § 3288. It states that if an indictment charging a felony gets dismissed because it was filed too late under the statute of limitations, the government is prohibited from bringing new charges for the same offense.

So if we can successfully argue the indictment missed the filing deadline, not only does the current indictment get thrown out — but our client can’t get re-indicted either. It’s a full and permanent dismissal based on that technicality.

To make this argument, the defense needs to identify the actual dates the alleged crime happened. If there’s any ambiguity, we dig into cell phone records, financial statements, travel receipts, or anything else that can prove our client couldn’t have committed the crime within the 5 year statute.

It takes meticulous research, creative thinking, and dogged determination – but establishing the timeline to show charges were brought too late can entirely defeat the indictment.

Punching Holes in the Indictment Itself

Another avenue is attacking the indictment itself — basically poking holes in the case laid out by prosecutors.

This strategy focuses on technical and procedural deficiencies versus disputing the evidence outright. Some examples:

  • Insufficient Wording: The indictment doesn’t include all elements needed to allege the specific charges. We’ve won dismissals because prosecutors failed to include critical details or legal standards in the indictment language.
  • Incorrect Venue: The indictment was filed in the wrong jurisdiction under federal court rules. We’ve successfully argued that charges were brought in an improper federal venue based on where the alleged crimes occurred.
  • Misapplied Law: The charges allege violations of laws that don’t actually apply to our client’s actions. We’ve gotten charges tossed because the indictment tried claiming offenses that were legally inapplicable once we examined the specifics.
  • Faulty Process: We can allege procedural missteps in how the grand jury handled the indictment – like failing to follow process, focusing on improper factors, or indicting based on inadequate evidence. It’s rare, but we have seen process issues lead to dismissals.

The key is combing through the indictment with a fine-toothed comb looking for any technicality, loophole, or deviation from proper procedure that could justify tossing the charges. The bar is high, but we’ve used this strategy effectively when the indictment has clear flaws.

Exposing Government Overreach and Misconduct

In some cases, we can allege that misconduct or overreach by investigators led to the flawed indictment. This argument focuses less on the indictment itself and more on how unfairly or inappropriately it was obtained.

We’ve seen charges dismissed where government agents clearly crossed lines, like:

  • Entrapment: Undercover operatives induced the target into committing crimes they wouldn’t normally do. This can invalidate the whole operation.
  • Illegal Search: Evidence was obtained through unconstitutional search methods, tainting the entire case.
  • Coercion: Informants or agents used harassment, threats, or excessive pressure to force confessions or testimony used to build the indictment.
  • Bias: Decision-makers had clear conflicts of interest or preconceived agendas against the target, undermining the neutrality needed for due process.

While the bar is extremely high, we have succeeded in getting indictments dismissed by proving these types of overreach. The case has to show serious misconduct that directly impacted building the indictment. But when that’s demonstrable, the charges can’t stand.

Negotiating Dismissal Through Cooperation

In some cases, we’ve been able to negotiate dropping the indictment in exchange for cooperation. If our client has information prosecutors badly want, we can leverage that to get charges dismissed upfront.

This requires having a true “bargaining chip” – inside knowledge of criminal activity that prosecutors value highly. We have to convince them that our client has information worthy of letting them walk free from their own charges.

This path requires extensive back-and-forth, because prosecutors don’t easily give up an indictment they worked hard to obtain. But for clients with substantial firsthand knowledge related to other priority cases, cooperation can be the avenue to get federal charges dismissed even post-indictment.

Takeaways: Dismissing an Indictment is Possible But Very Challenging

Once federal charges are filed, beating them is an uphill battle. But through meticulous preparation, aggressive motions practice, and creative legal arguments – skilled defense lawyers can still get indictments dismissed post-facto.

It requires identifying potential technicalities and deficiencies, uncovering misconduct and bias in building the indictment, or negotiating cooperation in exchange for dropping charges. None of these options are easy or guaranteed – but we have succeeded through relentless effort and legal skill.

The bottom line is – don’t assume an indictment is unbeatable. Experienced attorneys know how to attack even strong-seeming federal cases by exploiting weaknesses. So if you’re facing a federal indictment, don’t lose hope. With the right legal defense, even a solid indictment can sometimes still be defeated.

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Todd Spodek

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RALPH P. FRANCHO, JR

Associate

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JEREMY FEIGENBAUM

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ELIZABETH GARVEY

Associate

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CLAIRE BANKS

Associate

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RAJESH BARUA

Of-Counsel

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CHAD LEWIN

Of-Counsel

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