Everything You Need to Know About Federal Hate Crimes

Posted on in Federal Crimes

Chicago federal hate crime lawyerUnfortunately, in recent years, it seems as though hate crimes are becoming more and more common in America. Hate crimes are often motivated by race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity, and it is not uncommon for a hate crime to be prosecuted as a federal crime. As a result, a conviction may result in extended prison sentences and fines, the destruction of someone's reputation, and the dissolving of personal relationships. 

Today, we will explore what a hate crime is and give some examples of what a hate crime may entail. If you have been accused of a hate crime, do not hesitate to contact a seasoned hate crimes attorney who will ensure your rights remain protected and that you understand your options moving forward. 

What Exactly Is a Hate Crime? 

In essence, a hate crime is a traditional criminal offense like vandalism, assault, or even murder, motivated by prejudice against a protected group. It is not uncommon for the term "hate crime" to be used interchangeably with "bias-motivated crime." Federal laws surrounding hate crimes may involve individuals with religious, sexual, race-related, or various other prejudices. It is likely that when someone commits a hate crime, they will also be charged with an underlying offense, like vandalism or murder, and then on top of those charges, they will be charged with a hate crime. 

The penalties for hate crimes can involve heavy fines, up to a decade in prison, and in some cases, even death. The penalty levied against someone who has committed a hate crime will depend mainly upon the fact and circumstances of the case, including the defendant's criminal history. 

Examples of Hate Crimes

Some examples of hate crimes under federal law include the following examples:

  • A group of teens egg and vandalize a local Rabbi's home, leaving crude messages that refer to the homeowner’s faith. In this case, the motivation might be antisemitism. Therefore, it could be considered vandalism as well as a hate crime. 
  • A man breaks in and tries to burn down a Planned Parenthood because he is against women getting abortions—and he promised on social media that he would take decisive action. This could be considered arson and a hate crime. 

Contact a Chicago Hate Crimes Attorney

Hate crimes are grave crimes that the law does look upon lightly. If you have been accused of committing such a crime, understand that you are in serious legal jeopardy. Consider contacting a knowledgeable Chicago federal hate crimes lawyer with Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney. Call 312-629-0669 for a free consultation.



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