When is a Crime a Hate Crime?

Posted on January 8th, 2018 By

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Under both state and federal law, you can be charged with a hate crime if you commit a crime motivated by hatred or bias against certain groups. These crimes can result in higher penalties than crimes motivated by other factors.

What factors are considered when deciding whether a crime is a hate crime?

  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Skin color
  • Religion
  • National origin
  • Gender
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity
  • Disability

California’s Penal Code lists hate crimes under 422.6 PC. It states that it is a misdemeanor to willfully injure, intimidate, interfere with, or threaten someone in a protected class, or to knowingly damage or destroy such a person’s property to interfere with his or her legal or constitutional rights. A conviction under the hate crime statute can result in probation, up to a year in county jail, a fine of up to $5,000 and up to 400 hours of community service.

Under 422.7 PC, a misdemeanor can be bumped up to a felony if the misdemeanor is motivated by hate or bias and:

  1. The act caused physical injury or occurred when the offender has the ability to violently injure a victim
  2. The act caused more than $950 in property damage
  3. You have been previously convicted of a hate crime under 422.6 PC.

If you have been charged with a hate crime, our law firm is prepared to take a look at your case and represent you in the courtroom.