Unfortunately, hate crimes have been all over the news recently and the headlines are pretty astonishing.What makes a hate crime different from another criminal charge?
What is a Hate Crime?
A hate crime is any crime committed against a person, property, or community that is motivated in part or in whole by prejudice or bias against the victim. Victims of hate crimes are singled out simply because of their actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, family responsibility, physical handicap, or political affiliation.
Examples of hate crimes include:
- Physical attacks
- Destruction of property
- Cross burnings
- Painting hate symbols such as swastikas
- Cemetery desecration
- Firebombing of residences, churches, or business
Hate Crime Legal Punishments
In Arizona, crimes motivated by bias against the victim are not generally defined as separate crimes. Rather, a defendant’s bias or prejudice is a factor to be considered at the time of sentencing. Evidence that a crime was committed because of the victim’s race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, or disability is an aggravating factor for sentencing purposes. This means that the sentencing judge must consider such evidence in determining the appropriate sentence and may impose a sentence greater than the presumptive sentence.
Tempe Criminal Defense Attorney Kyle T. Green
If you, or a loved one, have been charged with a hate crime you will need to seek out the help of a qualified criminal defense attorney immediately.
I founded my practice because I believe everyone deserves the right to quality, cost-effective, immediate representation and sound legal advice. My time as a prosecutor has shown me first-hand the difference a qualified, aggressive criminal defense attorney can have on an Arizona criminal defense case.
I look forward to speaking with you about your legal matter and answering your legal questions. Please call me today at 480-331-7568 for a free case review.
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