Federal Criminal Attorneys Explains Hate Crime Law
Definition of Hate Crimes
Hate crimes laws are controversial because they essentially create a thought crime: you are punished for your alleged reasons for committing a criminal act. If you are charged with a hate crime, you could face penalties for the underlying offense and additional penalties because a prosecutor believes your actions were motivated by prejudice. Both the federal code and the New York code have hate crimes laws. If you have been accused of violating these laws, a New York City hate crimes lawyer at Bukh Law Firm, PLLC. can provide legal help to try to avoid penalties associated with conviction.
Federal Hate Crimes Laws: Charges and Penalties
18 U.S. Code Section 429 establishes federal penalties for hate crimes. This law imposes penalties for willfully causing or attempting to cause bodily injury through the use of a fire, dangerous weapon, or explosive devices in a crime motivated by a person’s race, color, religion, or national original, disability status, gender identity, gender, or sexual orientation. Committing a hate crime can result in 10 years imprisonment.
If death results from the offense or if the offense includes kidnapping, attempted kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault, or attempted aggravated sexual assault, you could be sentenced to life in prison for a hate crime.
When convicted of a hate crime, you will be imprisoned both for committing the underlying criminal offense and for your alleged motivations behind it. This means you could face penalties for both hate crimes and homicide; or both hate crimes and kidnapping.
New York Hate Crimes Laws: What is the Punishment
New York state addresses hate crimes in Penal Code Section 485.05. This law defines a hate crime to include intentionally selecting a victim to commit a specific type of crime against based on your perception of that person’s race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, ancestry, religion, religious practices, disability, or age.
You can be charged with a hate crime whether you actually commit the underlying crime, or whether you merely attempt to commit the offense against your chosen victim. Arkady Bukh has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in NYC TOP RATED ON: SUPER LAWYERS, AVVO, NATIONAL TRIAL LAWYERS
Top Rated Criminal Lawyer
Arkady Bukh has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in NYC
TOP RATED ON: SUPER LAWYERS, AVVO, NATIONAL TRIAL LAWYERS
New York laws restrict hate crimes charges to situations where you select a victim for specific type of offenses including but not limited to:
- Assault in the first, second or third degree
- Aggravated assault on a person under age 11
- Menacing in the first, second or third degree
- Reckless endangerment in the first, second or third degree
- Manslaughter in the first or second degree
- Murder in the first degree
- Stalking in the first, second, third or fourth degree
- Rape in the first degree
- Criminal sexual act in the first degree
- First degree sexual abuse, or aggravated sexual abuse in the first or second degree
- Unlawful imprisonment in the first or second degree
- First or second degree kidnapping
The Penal Code has a complete listing of specific offenses for which you can be charged with a hate crime if your victim is selected because of race, or other protected status.
How a Hate Crimes Attorney Can Help You
Hate crimes are very difficult for prosecutors to successfully prove. A prosecutor must demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that your actions were motivated as a result of the victim’s special status.
This means the prosecutor must prove both that you had hatred for a victim because of his race, gender, religion, national origin, sexual identity or other special status AND that you acted to commit the criminal offense against the victim as a direct result of your hatred. Unless you admit that you were motivated by the victim’s protected status, it is hard for a jury to determine that there is no reasonable doubt about what your motives were.
A New York City hate crimes lawyer at Bukh Law Firm, PLLC. can help you to defend yourself against the underlying criminal charge as well as the additional accusation of committing a hate crime. Call today to schedule a consultation and learn more about your options.