Richmond Hate Crime Defense Attorney
Hate Crime Defense Lawyer in Richmond
The FBI has defined a hate crime as “a criminal offense committed against a person, property or society which is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin.” This is a very serious crime that could result in heavy fines and jail time (including mandatory and elevated sentences, in some instances).
It’s also an extremely sensitive and incendiary crime that can stigmatize an accused offender, and his family members, as hateful, prejudiced or intolerant within the community. If you or someone you know has been charged with a hate crime, it’s important to contact a Richmond criminal defense lawyer experienced in handling this challenging case.
Legislation Enhances Hate Crime Penalties
While hate crimes are not new in the U.S., legislation regarding hate crime is a fairly recent development that is changing the way hate crimes are reported, investigated, prosecuted and punished under the law. In 1990, the federal government enacted the 1990 Hate Crime Statistics Act, requiring the Justice Department to monitor hate crimes. Since then a number of bills, initiatives and programs (too numerous to list here) have been signed into law or put in place by Presidents, Clinton, Bush and Obama.
Here are a few of the major ones:
- Hate Crimes Sentencing Enhancement Act (1994)
- Church Arson Prevention Act (1996)
- Violence Against Women Act (1998)
- Global Anti-Semitism Review Act (2004)
- The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act (2010)
When discussing hate crimes, the concept of perception is very important, since it’s impossible to know what others are thinking, many of the facts of a hate crime case are based on each individual’s perceived notions of the event, including witnesses and law enforcement. This means the faster that you contact an experienced Richmond criminal defense lawyer from The Law Office of Debra D. Corcoran, the faster we can begin to review and investigate your case. We are extremely capable attorney dedicated to defending your rights and protecting your legal interest. The longer you wait, the more challenging it becomes to find witnesses and evidence that might clear you of this crime.