What is Hate Crime?
A Hate Crime is an intentional, deliberate, and methodically-charged crime executed in order to cause harm or damage with regard to a specific victim chosen as a result of prejudice, racism, bias, and unlawful resentment. The range of Hate Crimes is a broad one.
Hate Crimes can range from racially-charged assaults to the defamation of property belonging to a religious institution. In a legal forum, no individual is exempt from being the victim of a hate crime. As long as there exist any definable traits or qualities latent within an individual or entity there can also exist illegal and unlawful actions directed towards that person or entity resulting from bias or prejudice.
Hate Crime Varieties
• The destruction of property contingent on prejudice and bias
• The assault of an individual contingent on prejudice and bias
• Threats expressed contingent on prejudice and bias
Hate Crime Offense Profile
1. Legal Jurisdiction: Criminal Law, Defamation Law, Employment Law, Administrative Law, Civil Law
2. Type of Crime: Typically, the nature of these crimes classifies them as felonies
3. Criminal Code: Varies upon the location of the crime, including the applicable country, nation, state, or province
4. Range of Punishment(s): Fines, probation, associated penalties, or incarceration – varies upon case details
5. Duration of Punishment(s): Varies upon case details and the crime committed
6. Applicable Punishment(s): Varies upon individual intent, criminal record, criminal history, and the victim(s) involved. Hate Crimes that are committed as a result of bias or prejudice mirroring similar crimes absent of prejudice are subject to increased severity with regard to penalties and punitive measures.
Hate Crime Allegations: Terminology and Associated Offenses
The following are commonly associated with charges of Hate Crime:
a. Prejudice: Unfounded opinions that are preconceived in nature.
b. Bias: Favoritism that is not based on empirical or pragmatic reasoning.
c. Aggravated Felony: A classification of an intentional, premeditated crime that is severe in nature.
d. Defamation: The slandering or unjust conveying of libelous sentiment.
e. Ethnicity: The country or nation of origin belonging to an individual or entity.
f. Racism: Preconceived prejudice resulting from bias with regard to race.
g. Religion: The process of spiritual belief latent in an individual.
h. Sexual Orientation: The nature and particularity of the sexual attraction latent in an individual.
i. Unalienable Rights: The right of every citizen to ‘Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness’.
j. First Amendment: The right of every citizen to the Freedom of Speech.
Arrest Process for a Hate Crime Charge
Individuals who have been served documentation in the form of an arrest warrant displaying a Hate Crime charge, or have already been arrested by law enforcement agents, are encouraged to cooperate with the arresting officers regardless of personal belief with regard to the charges. Individuals under arrest will be given the opportunity to consult with legal specialists subsequent to the arrest process. Resisting or fleeing from a Hate Crime arrest can result in harm, injury, and additional penalties. Upon arrest, an individual should be made aware of the following in order to prevent any further complication(s):
• Habeas Corpus
• Due Process
• The Presumption of Innocence.
Upon the arrest for a Hate Crime charge, this is the standard arrest protocol that must be upheld by any and all arresting officers. Miranda Rights include the Fifth Amendment, which states that an individual retains the right to remain silent in order to avoid incriminating themselves. This is also known as ‘pleading the Fifth’. In addition, Miranda Rights also guarantee the following rights with regard to an arrest:
a. The right to remain silent
b. The right for any words spoken during the arrest to be admissible during a trial
c. The right to consult with an attorney regardless of financial stature
d. The acknowledgement that the individual arrested for the Hate Crime charge understands the
The Preparation of a Hate Crime Defense
Individuals are encouraged to consult with attorneys specializing in criminal law and, if possible, those who focus on Hate Crime legality, criminal law, and defense. In the construction of a defense, the individual may be asked to provide the nature of the Hate Crime in question, any included threats, the biographical information with regard to any and all victims, any previous arrests and/or convictions, evidence and witness testimony, full account of the details surrounding the event in question, and the arrangement for bail or bond