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Faced 5+ Years in Prison

People Vs Joseph Amico

Covered by NYDaily News. Las Vegas man accused of threatening a prominent attorney and making vile remarks.

Faced 10+ Years in Prison

People Vs. Anna Sorokin

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.

Faced 3+ Years in Prison

People Vs. Genevieve Sabourin

Accused of stalking Alec Baldwin. The case garnered nationwide attention, with USAToday, NYPost, and other media outlets following it closely.

Faced Potential Charges

Ghislaine Maxwell Juror

Juror who prompted calls for new Ghislaine Maxwell trial turns to lawyer who defended Anna Sorokin.

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Clients can use our portal to track the status of their case, stay in touch with us, upload documents, and more.

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Meet Todd Spodek


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.

What is Voluntary Departure in Lieu of Deportation?

What is Voluntary Departure in Lieu of Deportation?

Voluntary departure is basically a way for someone facing deportation to leave the United States on their own terms rather than being formally deported. It allows them to avoid some of the more negative consequences of deportation.

How Does Voluntary Departure Work?

If someone is in deportation proceedings, they can request voluntary departure from an immigration judge instead of fighting the case. If approved, it means they agree to leave the US at their own expense within a certain timeframe, usually 60-120 days.

Voluntary departure has a bunch of benefits over formal deportation. First off, it lets the person choose where they get sent back to, instead of potentially being banished to a random country. It also gives them some time to get their affairs in order before leaving the US.

Other Advantages of Voluntary Departure

  • Avoids an order of deportation on your record
  • Lets you pick the country you get sent back to
  • Gives you time to sort out stuff in the US before leaving
  • Possibility of legally returning to the US in the future

The main reason someone would choose voluntary departure is to dodge the harsh consequences of a formal deportation order. An order of deportation basically bans you from legally coming back to the US for 5-10 years, sometimes even longer. It also makes it really hard to get visas to other countries.

Who Qualifies for Voluntary Departure?

To get approved for voluntary departure, you’ll generally need to meet a bunch of requirements to convince the judge you deserve it. Some of the main things they look at are:

  • How long you’ve been in the US
  • Your family & community ties
  • Your criminal history and overall character
  • Ability to pay for your departure expenses

You’ll also need to prove to the court that you have the means to actually leave the country within the timeframe and have somewhere to go. If you’ve got strong connections keeping you in the US, it can help demonstrate you’re not just trying to dodge deportation.

Good Candidates Bad Candidates
  • Long-term US residents
  • Strong family/community ties
  • Clean criminal record
  • Money to pay for departure
  • Recent US arrivals
  • Criminal convictions
  • No way to pay for departure
  • Flight risk

The Voluntary Departure Process

If you want to request voluntary departure, you’ll need to formally apply for it during your deportation hearing. The basic process goes like this:

  1. Request voluntary departure at deportation hearing
  2. Prove to court you deserve it and meet requirements
  3. Judge decides whether or not to grant voluntary departure
  4. If approved, DHS gives you departure paperwork
  5. You leave US at own expense before deadline

The decision is totally up to the judge – there’s no guarantee you’ll get approved. That’s why it’s so important to show them you fully deserve voluntary departure and aren’t just trying to cheat the system. Having an experienced immigration lawyer on your side increases your chances big time.

What Happens if You Break the Terms?

If you’re granted voluntary departure but don’t actually leave on time, the order automatically switches to deportation. And you can be banned from coming back to the US for 10 years as punishment. So it’s really important to follow through if you get approved!

Voluntary Departure vs Formal Deportation

To summarize, voluntary departure is basically a way to avoid the worst consequences of deportation by agreeing to leave on your own. Here’s a quick comparison:

Voluntary Departure Formal Deportation
  • Leave on your own terms
  • Some control over destination
  • Time to settle US affairs
  • Possibility of legal US return
  • Lose right to remain in US
  • Ban from returning for years
  • Jail then forced removal from US
  • Harder to enter other countries

As you can see, voluntary departure is much more humane and gives the person a chance to avoid deportation’s worst consequences. That’s why it’s a go-to option for many immigrants who have lived in the US for a long time and want the possibility of coming back someday.

Some good discussions on the pros/cons of voluntary departure vs deportation can be found on this Reddit thread and this Quora post.

Finding an Immigration Lawyer

Trying to navigate voluntary departure and deportation defense on your own is really tough without legal expertise. An immigration attorney can help increase your chances of getting approved and avoiding deportation. They know exactly how to present the best case to the judge.

Look for immigration lawyers in your state or city that specialize in deportation defense and voluntary departure cases. LawInfo, FindLaw, and Avvo all have good state-by-state directories to find attorneys.

The right lawyer can make a huge difference in getting your voluntary departure approved. They’ll also walk you through each step of the process and help avoid any issues with leaving on time.

The Takeaway

While still difficult, voluntary departure is often a better alternative then getting hit with a formal deportation order and 10-year ban. For long-term US residents with strong ties, it can be the most realistic option to preserve the chance of legally returning someday.

Getting approved involves convincing the judge you meet all the requirements and aren’t trying to cheat the system. An experienced immigration attorney is almost essential to have on your side. They can navigate the complexities of the law and help secure approval for your voluntary departure.

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I was searching for a law firm with some power to help me deal with a warrant in New York . After 6 days I decided to go with Spodek Law Group. It helped that This law firm is well respected by not only the top law firms in New York , but the DA , Judge as well. I...

~Fonder Brandon

5 Stars
It was my good fortune to retain Spodek Law Group for representation for my legal needs. From the beginning, communication was prompt and thorough. Todd, Kenneth and Alex were the first people I worked with and they all made me feel comfortable and confident that the team was going to work hard for me. Everything was explained and any concerns...

~A G

5 Stars
After meeting with several law firms, I chose the Spodek Law Group not only for their professionalism and experience, but for the personal attention given to me right from the initial consultation. It is important to recognize how crucial having the right legal team is when faced with potentially life altering events that impact families and the lives of loved...

~George Cherubini

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