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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.

Jacksonville Federal Criminal Lawyers

Fighting your federal criminal charges in Jacksonville is an uphill battle without an experienced federal defense attorney. In Jacksonville, they see a lot of drug trafficking cases, illegal immigration, and gun violations under the Safe Neighborhood Act. The ports of Florida are a hotbed for drug smugglers, which makes the concentration of federal agents here higher than in most of the United States.

That being said, the federal courts also prosecute other crimes that are less serious such as tax evasion, white-collar crimes, counterfeiting, credit card fraud, tax fraud, and identity theft. If you find yourself in the crosshairs of federal agents, you can bet that they want to get their money back for the time expended in your case.

Overview of the Federal Criminal Defense Process



It all begins with an investigation. The Feds are famous for going all out to profile their targets. They will move in next door, take suspects on yacht cruises, join outlaw motorcycle gangs, use dating apps to create sex stings, and produce Hollywood productions to manufacture evidence of crimes. The Feds are known for entrapping suspects and using the “ends justify the means” philosophy in securing arrests. Our law firm can look closely at their investigation methods that may or not be disclosed in full to determine their legality.


Federal agents will always confront the suspect after arrest with the charges. They will try to elicit a confession or even a partial confession that eliminates disputes over some facts. They can be coercive with the methods by using false promises of leniency for cooperation and other lies.

They may record the interviews but only use the recording if it is favorable to them. If they paraphrase what you said and ad-lib what occurred to their advantage, they will choose this instead. Our law firm will protect you from these coercive tactics and force them to back off. This makes it much harder for them to establish a case against you.

Release on Bail

Our law firm is skilled at presenting the court with mitigating factors to ensure your release on bail. You don’t want to be waiting inside the federal prison even if you think that you will do some time on the case. You have far more respect when you come to court as a free man with a stronger presumption of innocence. Being in prison can take a psychological toll and make you feel hopeless. It can also lead to encounters with confidential informants who can strengthen the case against you.

Refuting Probable Cause

In order to justify your continued prosecution, a hearing establishing probable cause must be held within 10 days of arrest. If any of the criminal elements are based on speculation or could be interpreted two equal ways, then this would be insufficient evidence as a matter of law. Our law firm can help you dismiss cases at this phase when the evidence is lacking, and you are simply a person of interest.

Discovery and Pre-Trial Motion Practice

Once probable cause is established and you are formally arraigned, we can start examining the evidence against you much closer. In many cases, the prosecutors try to manipulate the evidence by withholding key pieces of evidence. They will try to skate by without disclosing evidence by substituting it with whatever they want to say, expecting that we should simply take their word for it.

And we don’t take their word for it and want detailed hard evidence, not suppositions. Our law firm will make the specific requests for exculpatory evidence that are required to preserve the violations for appeal. Withheld exculpatory evidence is often the cause of wrongful convictions. We will also file motions to suppress evidence that is being used unlawfully against you.

Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
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
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
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
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
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
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
Very professional, very transparent, over all a great experience
Bee L
Bee L
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
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.

Trials, Pleas, and Sentencing

If you go to trial, you need a very skilled attorney who makes all the preparations to ensure fairness. However, 97 percent of federal cases end in plea bargains that exchange leniency for a plea of guilty. The stronger your defense, the more likely the prosecutor is to come down with their penalties. If any aspects of your sentencing are discretionary, we will pull out all the stops to mitigate the penalties, in any regard, and follow with post-trial motions to preserve errors for appeals.

Jacksonville Federal Appeals Lawyers

If you or someone you love has been convicted of a federal offense, it’s a big deal. Aside from the fact that this can mean years in prison, the defendant also faces the many challenges of reintegration into society including:

  • Difficulty finding steady employment
  • Education obstacles
  • Trouble finding housing

While that final bang of the gavel after the judge pronounces the conviction feels final, there is an option that can revive hope for the defendant. Federal criminal appeals can lead to a more desirable verdict and can be well worth the investment.

What is a Federal Criminal Appeal?

A federal criminal appeal is the opportunity for a defendant convicted of a federal crime to challenge their conviction or sentence. It’s important to keep in mind that this isn’t a new trial. Rather, it’s a proceeding that allows the defendant to attack the judgement or order of the court on legal grounds. Just a few circumstances that could be grounds for an appeal include:

  • Lack of sufficient evidence
  • Inaccurate jury instructions
  • False arrest
  • Sentencing errors
  • Juror misconduct
  • Improper exclusion or admission of evidence
  • Ineffective assistance of counsel

Don’t Expect a Speedy Process

Federal courts are busy. With so much going on, it can take months or even years to go through the appeals process. Each claim that’s submitted must be individually examined, and there is no technology currently available that can eliminate the need to use teams of professionals to take on each and every case. If you think you qualify for a federal criminal appeal, it’s important to understand that these cases take, on average, around a year.

You Want Your Argument Heard

In many cases, a defendant waits only to hear back that their appeal was granted or denied. It’s not required that the defendant has their day in court. While this may seem less stressful, it decreases your chances of winning the appeal.

Ideally, you want the chance to present your argument before the appellate judges. In order to achieve this, it’s critical you have a well-planned brief that presents compelling legal issues involving your case. In the event an oral argument is granted, there is typically only around 20-30 minutes to present your case. Because of all these restrictions, it’s worth the investment in an appellate lawyer who is both an excellent writer and oral advocate.

Be Prepared for a Steep Financial Investment

It isn’t cheap to file an appeal. Although costs will vary depending on the complexity of your case, you can estimate what you’ll have to pay:

  • Filing fees are currently $455.
  • Transcript is typically released on cost-per-page basis and can get into the thousands of dollars.
  • Travel funds may be necessary for your attorney to attend oral argument.

While it isn’t cheap to file an appeal, the costs associated with the consequence of jail time and a permanent criminal record can far outweigh the investment in the appeals process.

What If There’s No Acquittal?

Ultimately, you want to be acquitted of your charges. This means all charges are dismissed, and you can move on with life as normal. Unfortunately, this is a rare occurrence.

It’s much more likely trial errors will result in a new trial. It will be held in the same district court as your original trial, and you’ll essentially have to go through the entire process again. While this sounds grueling, there are a couple of potential outcomes that make it well worth the time:

  • The prosecution, for whatever reason, may choose not to try the case again.
  • You may be provided with a more favorable plea offer.
  • You may win your case the second time around.

Federal criminal charges are serious, and the penalties can be severe. Effective legal representation is absolutely necessary for anyone facing any felony charges. The process of going through a federal case can be intimidating because the stakes can be so high. Many people face the prospect of losing their income, career and family. In addition, your reputation in the local community is often at risk.

Prison sentences tend to be stiff, and many federal prosecutors are motivated by their career, which rewards them for finding as many people guilty as possible. The odds can seem stacked against you, but losing your morale is dangerous. The role of your federal criminal attorney is to help you to get through any self-doubt and build a case that is compelling enough to eliminate or reduce the penalties.

Hiring a Criminal Lawyer, Federal Charges

Time is a factor in these cases, so make sure to seek legal representation right away. However, this doesn’t mean that you should hire the first lawyer who responds to your inquiry. Take your time deciding on the right criminal defense attorney to use in your case. This preparation can save you years of pain and anguish, and the decision should never be made lightly. Make the lawyer earn your confidence and trust because your life, career and future prospects are all on the line.

The best lawyer will keep you informed during each stage of the process. As the case develops, it might become necessary to invest the criminal defense attorney with the trust that your interests are being represented. Many cases are complex, and the jargon can be difficult to follow. The relationship with your attorney allows you to introduce new information as it becomes available. Build your case with a criminal defense attorney who understands how to think clearly under adverse conditions and build the case most likely to prevail. Always keep track of your questions, and work with someone who has the ability to communicate clearly.

State Criminal Charges, Felony Charges

Federal charges are significantly different than state charges. Most cases are handled at the state level, and many attorneys have a high degree of competency when litigating state cases. However, federal charges require a different skill set, and many state lawyers are unequipped to handle the complexity of a federal prosecutor as an opponent. Hiring a federal criminal attorney is a critical part of your overall legal defense strategy, so make sure to work with a professional that has a successful track record of litigating similar cases.

Examples of federal criminal charges include the following:

White-collar crimes and bank robberies
Fraud and IRS crimes
Drug possession and weapons trafficking

State laws might also be applied against you before the case goes to the federal courts. This process might seem contradictory and confusing at first. If the federal prosecutor pursues the case, the legal concept of double jeopardy might come into play. There are constitutional protections that prevent charges from being brought against the same person for a second time. [1] Make sure you work with a qualified and experience legal team that has a stake in protecting all of your rights under the applicable legal codes.

Communication and Criminal Defense

Good communication skills are essential to the process of hiring a criminal defense attorney. During the interview, you have a chance to find out if the lawyer has experience handling cases that are similar. Find out how the outcome resolved, and look for the length of time your potential attorney has been practicing. It’s also important to observe the status of the federal criminal attorney within relevant professional associations like the American Bar Association, for example. This gives you an idea of the level of qualification and expertise the attorney might bring to your case.[2]

The federal criminal attorney should be able to communicate details about the case in a way that you can understand. Working with an attorney that uses jargon excessively often backfires. In addition, you also need to feel comfortable expressing your views and wishes to your attorney. If you face federal charges, the serious nature of situation warrants an upgrade to your legal strategy. Don’t settle for anything less than the best; our firm has five decades of experience representing clients at the federal level.

Best Legal Defense, Jacksonville

The best legal defense is always relevant to your specific situation. There is a correct procedure for every instance of communication with a federal authority. This might involve a letter or a search warrant during the early stages of the case, for example. You might face an indictment or be arrested on federal charges. The most important action you can take during these early encounters with federal agents is to remain silent, and contact your attorney at the first available moment. Legal counsel is a protected right under the constitutional system, and there is no need to waive this protection. Make sure to understand your rights under the law by contacting our legal firm immediately.

Lawyers capable of handling federal criminal cases have a unique set of skills and experiences to offer. Find out if your lawyer is a member of a respected professional organization. Expertise in federal case law is only earned through the fires of time; surviving complex case laws requires the greatest degree of care and precision. Make sure to ask questions before hiring your federal criminal lawyer; this process is part of securing the best legal defense when going into the federal court system. Contact our lawyers today if you’re facing federal criminal charges.


[1] https://constitution.congress.gov/browse/essay/amdt5_2_1_1/
[2] https://www.americanbar.org/groups/criminal_justice/membership/

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