Hate crimes are generally committed based on the victims’ race, ethnicity, national origin, disability, religion or sexual orientation. Violations of civil rights may be considered a crime if there is a threat of or use of force.
If you are suspected of or have been arrested for a hate crime, speak with a criminal defense lawyer about your case and how to proceed. Total Criminal Defense can connect you with a local lawyer. Call toll free at 877-445-1059 or fill out the free online evaluation form below to schedule a consultation with a lawyer near you.
Hate Crime Laws
Hate crimes typically fall under the jurisdiction of state or local authorities, although the FBI has a Civil Rights division that investigates hate crimes.
Typically, the FBI gets involved when contacted by a victim or witness of a hate crime, or when alerted by media coverage or other third-party intervention. The bureau investigated 380 hate crime cases in 2005, mostly in partnership with local authorities.
Legislation outlining hate crimes as crimes of bias enacted in the 1990s increased penalties for offenses proven to be hate crimes. A hate crime is generally defined as a traditional offense, such as murder, arson or vandalism, with bias as a motivation.
Hate Crime Statistics
Following passage of the Hate Crime Statistics Act of 1990, the FBI has gathered and published hate crime statistics every year since 1992. Statistics from 2007, the last year with data available, show that:
- 2,025 law enforcement agencies reported 7,624 hate crime incidents involving 9,006 offenses
- Nearly 63% (4,724) were racially motivated
- 32% were crimes of vandalism or destruction
- 28.5% were crimes of intimidation
- 63% of offenders were Caucasian
Find a Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you are facing hate crime charges, you have the right to speak with a lawyer. Connect with a criminal defense attorney in your area today by calling 877-445-1059 or filling out a free online evaluation form.
The above summary of hate crimes is by no means all-inclusive and is not intended to provide legal advice. Laws may have changed since our last update. For the latest information on hate crime laws, speak to a criminal defense attorney in your area.