Hate Crimes in Tampa
A hate crime is generally defined as an offense committed against another
person (usually violence or threats of violence) because of their gender,
race, political beliefs, sexual orientation, disabilities or religious
beliefs. Law enforcement and criminal justice agents take hate crimes
very seriously and will work to ensure that you suffer what they deem
to be the appropriate punishment.
Biased Crimes: Relationship of the FBI & Hate Crimes
Due to the discriminatory nature of hate crimes, the Federal Bureau of
Investigation (FBI) often will step in to investigate these offenses.
Defined as "crimes of hatred and prejudice," these are no modern
phenomenon but rather date back throughout American history. These, however,
were not investigated by the FBI until World War I.
Now, the FBI investigates all forms of hate crimes, from
murders to arson and even vandalism.
It, however, is important to remember that
hate is not a crime and the FBI cannot take action against a person simply for hating another
as this would be a distinct violation of constitutional rights. Instead,
they must be clear an actual crime has been committed. Similarly, the
FBI can only get involved as a certain point as the frontline for hate
crimes is typically state and local authorities. However, in 2009 the
passing of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention
Act expanded the rights of the federal government to prosecute crimes
aimed towards the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.
Contact Thomas & Paulk, P.A. as soon as possible!
If you are facing serious charges, the legal team at the firm could be
able to help protect your constitutional rights. The legal team has extensive
experience handling these types of cases through from initial arrest to
trial. The seasoned litigators on the team will work to defend your rights
and maintain your freedom. Depending upon the severity of your charges,
you could be facing either a misdemeanor or a felony charge. It is important
to remember that the system won't "go easy" on you if you
have no prior criminal record.
No matter what your case involves, you need to do everything you can to
help ensure that your life isn't forever altered by a conviction.