Los Angeles Hate Crimes Lawyer
Highly controversial and aggressively prosecuted by Los Angeles courts, hate crimes are crimes that are committed against a group or individual based entirely on their gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or other similar factors. Viewed by many as an attack on the principles that the US was established under, hate crimes are often treated as a direct assault on the freedom and equality that the US promises to all those residing or visiting here.
As a result of the high value that US citizens place on freedom and equality, hate crimes carry some of the most severe penalties among criminal offenses. Consequently, hate crimes can be tried as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending upon the severity of the crime. According to California law, some criminal offenses that would normally be tried as misdemeanors can be elevated to a felony when evidence shows that the motivation for the commission of the crime was hate. Felony convictions in which hate proves to be a substantial motivating factor can even result in the addition of one to four years of prison time tacked on to the penalty of some other criminal offense conviction.
Examples of Hate Crime Offenses in California
Considered to be motivated by a hate for a group or individual, hate crimes in Los Angeles are investigated by a special unit known as the Hate Crimes Unit. The Los Angeles Hate Crimes Unit consists of a group of specially-trained, highly-experienced lawyers who work closely with The Victim Impact Program to vigorously prosecute those connected to a hate crime offense in California and the nation as a whole. According to the Los Angeles County District Attorney, examples of hate crimes include the following criminal acts.
- Crimes that target victims that includes property crimes like vandalism and burglary which are committed against a victim because of his or her gender, race, color, ancestry, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability.
- Use of force, threats of injury, intimidation, or interference with the Constitutional rights or freedoms of another. This includes such rights as the right to attend a specific church or school, the right to vote, the right to move freely about in public places, and the right to be secure at home.
- Damage or defacement of property as a means to intimidate or interfere with the Constitutional rights and freedoms of another.
- Desecration of religious symbols and display of symbols with the intent to terrorize others.
- Vandalism, burning or bombing of churches, synagogues, mosques, or other houses of worship to instill terror.
- Displaying symbols that represent a threat to life as a means to terrorize a property owner that can include threatening symbols displayed at schools, parks, and workplaces.
If Accused of A Hate Crime In Los Angeles, You Need Representation By An Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney
California law does not treat hate crimes as a separate crime, but treats them as traditional criminal offenses with added consequences when the crime is considered to be hate-motivated. With allegations of a hate crime being highly sensationalized and closely followed in the media, a hate crime allegation requires a vigorous defense strategy from an attorney able to deal with the barrage of media attention while offering clients a solid representation. Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer R.J. Manuelian is an experienced hate crime defense lawyer who practices law in both California state and Federal court. He brings a vast array of resources to the defense of any criminal investigation or charge and is ready to see that his clients receive the best possible defense available. Contact R.J. today for a free evaluation of your case.