Hate crimes occur when someone commits an act of fear, violence, or intimidation that was based upon racism, bigotry, prejudice, or intolerance.
Hate crimes may be initiated against a person based upon their sexual preference or orientation, gender, religious preferences, ethnic heritage, race, or if they are disabled.
States have laws that protect people and their property from hate crimes. Likewise, federal rulings and laws also govern these crimes. Therefore, if someone is charged with a hate crime, they are more than likely facing both state and federal charges. If you have been charged with committing a hate crime, it is imperative that you seek the advice and counsel of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Hate crimes are usually very dangerous in nature because they have the potential to incite riots. No matter who the victim is there is likely to be a group of people within the community who will identify with the victim and the attack that they endured. Sometimes the community will become so enraged that tensions are unlikely to be put at rest until justice is served. It is also important to understand that of all the statistics involving hate crimes, the majority of hate crimes are directed towards African Americans.
It is extremely important that hate crimes are reported. These are dangerous situations and justice must be served.
Since hate crimes are both state and federal crimes, victims and witnesses of hate crimes may contact either their local police department to report the crime, or they may choose to contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
If you are reporting a hate crime, you need to have the victim’s name and contact information, the contact information for any witness’s, the name of the perpetrator and location of the crime.