Tampa Hate Crime Lawyers
Defending Clients Against Hate Crime Arrests & Charges in Florida
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. When an offense is considered a hate crime, it will be prosecuted vigorously and punished extensively.
Biased Crimes: FBI & Hate Crimes
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) often will investigate alleged hate crimes. Defined as "crimes of hatred and prejudice," these are no modern phenomenon.
Hate crimes date back throughout American history but 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 is vital to remember, however, that hate itself is not a crime, and the FBI cannot take action against a person simply for hating another as this would be a violation of constitutional rights. It must be clear that a crime was committed.
Similarly, the FBI can only get involved to a certain point as the frontline for hate crimes are 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 hate crimes aimed towards the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community.
Contact Thomas & Paulk as Soon as Possible
If you are facing serious hate crime charges, the legal team at our firm can help protect your constitutional rights. We have extensive experience handling these types of cases through from initial arrest to trial. Our seasoned litigators will work to defend your rights and maintain your freedom. Depending upon the severity of your alleged crime, 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 deserve counsel. Contact our Tampa hate crime defense attorneys today.
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