Federal Hate Crimes

 Posted on May 08, 2024 in Hate Crime Statute

IL defense lawyerSimply put, a hate crime happens when both hate and crime are involved, but those two terms have specific definitions in the context of a hate crime, which will be explained below. However, since America grants its citizens the right to free speech and freedom of religion, the topic of hate crimes can be confusing. You might feel threatened by someone else’s beliefs or actions, which can feel directed against your religion. However, if you act to defend yourself against what you perceive as threatening actions, you might find yourself facing an accusation of hate crimes yourself. The possibility of a federal hate crime conviction can make you afraid, anxious, and stressed. If you are accused of a federal hate crime, speak with an experienced Chicago, IL hate crime defense attorney to understand what options you have.

What is Considered “Hate”

When used to characterize a type of crime, “hate” does not mean strong dislike or the opposite of like or love the way it does outside of a legal context, but rather it refers to a bias against people who share some characteristics. Most states define hate crimes as those committed on the basis of the perceived or actual sexual orientation, religion, race, nationality, gender, gender identity, or disability of the target.

What is Considered a Hate Crime”

The Department of Justice defined a hate crime as a criminal offense that is motivated by the offender’s biases against a:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Disability
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
  • Gender identity

The victim of the crime may not even be associated with whatever group the offender wished to harm. Even if the offender perceived the victim as belonging to some group that he wished to harm, that is enough for it to be considered a hate crime.

Hate crimes are often violent. Common hate crimes include vandalism, arson, assault, or murder, in addition to threatening to commit any of the above. An action is considered a federal hate crime if it can be demonstrated that it was motivated by some prejudice about the victim’s actual or perceived characteristics.

Almost 65% of reported hate crimes in America in 2021 were based on race or ethnicity. Almost 30% were committed on the basis of the victim’s real or perceived sexual orientation or religion.

Hate crimes tend to have farther-reaching consequences than other crimes that might target an individual. With hate crimes, it is not only the direct target but also their communities, families, and nations that can be considered the victims.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Chicago, IL Federal Hate Crimes Defense Lawyer

If you are facing federal hate crime accusations, you need an experienced and aggressive Cook County, IL hate crimes defense attorney who can build a strong defense, fight for your legal rights, and protect your reputation. At Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney we fight passionately for our clients. Call us at 312-629-0669 to schedule a free consultation.

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