A hate crime is any malicious act committed against a property, group or person because of a bias against a particular religion, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, nationality, or disability. Hate crimes are often acts of force or threats of force upon a particular group because the offender disagrees or does not understand the group's affiliation. Statistics show that the majority of hate crimes are committed by individuals under the age of 20.
Hate crimes are unfortunately not a recent development in the United States. The Anti-Defamation League was first organized in 1913 to combat anti-Semitism spawned from World War II. The Anti-Defamation League continues to combat hate crimes in America through the development of legislation to ensure public awareness, prevention and punishment for offenders.
Between the years of 1991 and 2001, hate crime in the United States doubled in frequency. Particularly following the tragedy of 9/11, anti-Islamic hate crimes rose to an alarming 481 incidents in 2001. Fortunately, that number fell the following year by 67 percent.
While a number of different factors may motivate people to commit hate crimes, certain groups are more frequently the victims. Motivations for hate crime offenders are typically racial, ethnic, sexual orientation, or religious based. Following the enactment of the 1990 Hate Crime Statistics Act by the federal government, the Federal Bureau of Investigation now closely monitors the incidence of hate crime in the United States.
In 2004, the reported hate crime statistics included 7,649 incidents of hate crime offenses, categorized into the following types:
- Racial Bias 55 percent
- Religious Bias 18 percent
- Sexual Orientation Bias 16 percent
- Ethnicity/Nation Origin Bias 13 percent
Hate crime is a sensitive legal matter that must be handled with experience and sensitivity. If you have been falsely accused of a hate crime, you are probably facing serious legal consequences, which can result in jail time and other lost liberties, if you do not take important steps to protect your legal interests today . Please contact us to speak to an experienced criminal law attorney for a free consultation regarding your case . We are here to protect you.
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