Hate Crime Defense Attorney in Los Angeles
What is Considered a Hate Crime?
Under California Penal Code 422.55 PC hate crime is defined as attacks on an individual based on actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.
Hate crime charges can arise from a variety of offenses, such as:
- Assaulting someone while using racial or anti-gay slurs
- Threatening to inflict violence on someone because of their ethnicity
- Damaging someone's property due to their religion, race, or other protected category
- Vandalizing places of worship with hate symbols with the intent to terrorize
Crimes motivated by these types of prejudices are taken extremely seriously by the law. If you have been accused of a hate crime, you must take immediate action to protect your rights. Many accusations of this kind can be harmful to an individual's reputation and future, and you can't afford to be without the help of a skilled hate crime defense attorney in Los Angeles at this time.
Penalties for Hate Crimes
Hate crimes can be charged as a state or federal crime. California has statutes with hate crime enhancements that increases a charge from a misdemeanor to felony if an offense is motivated by bias. These can include higher fines and longer jail time.
Any offense involving hate-related acts resulting in injury to the victim via fire, firearm, a dangerous weapon, or an explosive device can also involve increased penalties due to aggravating factors.
What Are the Defenses to a Hate Crime Charge?
In order to be charged with a hate crime, the prosecutor must prove that a victim's race, sexual orientation, national origin, or other protected category was the reason for the crime. We can help create a defense that argues the crime was not motivated by these biases. When the prosecutor is not able to prove bias as the basis for the act, we may be able to remove the hate crime enhancement and receive a lesser charge, or even get the case dismissed altogether.
Hire a Los Angeles Hate Crime Lawyer
Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP is an experienced federal defense firm dedicated to providing the best possible results for each client's case. If you have been accused of a hate crime, gang crime, or are facing any other federal charges, we have the aggression and skill to defend you from the consequences. Our legal team shares more than 50 years of combined experience, which provides us with a vast amount of resources to use in your defense.
Call now to consult with a Los Angeles hate crime attorney and learn more.