In recent years, there have been a lot of discussions about hate crimes in the media and prosecutions for hate crimes have also increased.
But what exactly is a “hate crime”? It can be helpful for you to gain a clearer perspective on the meaning of hate crimes in Texas and the United States as a whole.
A hate crime is broadly defined as any crime that someone commits that is rooted in prejudice. Individuals who commit these crimes generally have developed some type of bias against another person or group of individuals.
Hate crimes can take on many different forms. An individual or group may have their property damaged. They may be subjected to threats or actual physical violence, including assault or murder, simply for who they are or what they believe or the color of their skin.
People who commit hate crimes may have stereotypical assumptions or preconceived negative beliefs about people different from themselves. These beliefs may center around a person’s nationality, gender, ethnicity, disability, national origin, language, race, religion or sexual identity.
There are generally two conditions that must be met for someone to be charged with a hate crime. Their actions must first be unlawful per state or federal law. The evidence that prosecutors compile must also show that perpetrator of such acts was motivated by bias if they wish to successfully file hate crimes charges against a defendant.
A hate crime charge is a serious offense. You may face a lengthy prison sentence if you’re convicted at trial. A federal crimes attorney can build a strong defense in your case. This is critically important when you’re facing as serious of charges as hate crimes ones here in Dallas.