San Diego Hate Crime Attorney
What Is Considered a Hate Crime?
A hate crime is related to a violation of civil rights. The types of situations that will lead a crime to be considered a hate crime under California Penal Code Sections 422.55 – 422.75 include the following:
- Crimes related to gender
- Crimes committed against a disabled person
- Crimes committed based upon country of origin, race or ethnicity
- Crimes against individuals in various religions
- Crimes against individuals based upon sexual orientation
Hate Crimes Are Heavily Punished: Enhanced Penalties
If you are accused of committing any crime that is based on the above factors, the crime can be deemed to be a hate crime, and allows for enhanced penalties to be imposed in a conviction.
These crimes (minor) can lead to the following penalties:
- Up to 12 months in jail
- Fines up to $5,000
- Up to 500 hours spend performing community service
- All of the above
Felony hate crime charges are those in which another person was seriously injured. Any felony offense that is considered a "hate crime" will involve the original penalty for the crime with enhanced sentencing, with an added 2–4 years in prison beyond the penalties imposed for the original offense. Any person that was involved in the crime will face the same penalties, as an aider and abettor.
What should you do if charged with a hate crime? Contact our firm for a free case evaluation!
Were There "Aggravating Factors" in Your Case?
Any felony offense that involved the use of a gun is more heavily punished. This is considered an "aggravating factors" in a hate crime and will lead the court to impose even more serious penalties. Under California Penal Code 12022.53, you can face 10, 20, or life in prison for the use of a weapon in any crime, including offenses prosecuted as a hate crime. Cases of drive-by shootings can be designated a hate crime, with enhanced penalties for both the use of a firearm and as a hate crime.
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The prosecution is given the duty to seek a conviction, and has the full support of all of the state's resources in law enforcement, labs and specialists in every field, as well as the money to hire on top experts to support a case. If accused of a hate crime, it is imperative that you are represented by an equally powerful San Diego violent crime attorney. Our lead and founding attorney, James N. Dicks, is one of our states few board certified criminal law specialists and has an impressive track record.
Call today for skilled defense counsel in your criminal case.