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A hate crime is defined as any violation of an individual's rights that is due to discrimination. This discrimination could be towards the victim's race, gender, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or country of origin. These hate crimes are also known as bias-motivated crimes and most typically involve assault, injury, or even murder. Some less extreme forms of hate crimes include damage to property, harassment, bullying, verbal or emotional abuse, verbal insults, hate mail, or obscene and offensive graffiti. Due to the devastating effects that hate crimes can have on families and communities, authorities are very severe in the punishment of these crimes.

A hate crime is not necessarily a federal offense, but since it does violate an individual's civil rights, the federal government will often become involved. If you have been accused of a hate crime, you could be under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. If this is the case, you need an aggressive hate crime attorney to defend you against such allegations. The FBI has a considerable more amount of resources and manpower than compared with local and state police. Since the authorities are so intent on prosecuting these crimes, there are times when people are falsely accused of a hate crime. If there was a mistake made in your case or you have not been treated fairly by the justice system, you need an aggressive legal representative to fight for you.

The penalties for hate crimes vary depending on the nature and severity of the crime. In 1994, a new federal law was enacted which increased the penalties for hate crimes. In 2009, another law was passed which gave the federal government the authority to prosecute individuals guilty of violence or attempted violence towards the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community. Also, any hate crime that is directed at the United States or the American people could be regarded as an act of domestic terrorism.

If you have been accused of any form of hate crime, you need to talk to an aggressive hate crime attorney who will stand up for you. Do not let a conviction ruin your future and reputation.