Fox Firm, P.C. Articles Hate Crimes: What Are They?

Hate Crimes: What Are They?

By Douglas Fox  Dec. 16, 2010 9:25a

Most federal and state statutes define hate crimes as crimes which are committed against a person or a property which are motivated wholly or in part by the perpetrators' hostility or bias against the victim's religion, race, disability or national origin. Hate crimes have been around for a long time going back to lynchings, cross burnings, being burned at the stake, vandalism of synagogues and even beheadings.

The Klu Klux Klan was one of the more famous groups in history known for its hate crimes around World War I.  In the 1980's the emerging hate group called the Skinheads became recognized for its bias-related crimes and in present time hate crimes of varying sorts still plague our society from different sources.

FBI View

In a podcast interview done in 2008 "Inside the FBI," Mr. Neil Schiff interviewed Special Agent Cynthia Deitle who at that time was the acting chief of the Civil Rights Unit in the FBI's Criminal Investigation Division. She stated that the FBI can investigate instances of racial as well as religious discrimination especially those crimes against structures like churches, mosques or synagogues.

States have their own legislation which is different than the federal statues, the biggest difference being that a federal crime involves the use of some type of force or threat of force as part of the crime. She named out in the interview what some of the different types of hate crimes there are a few of those mentioned were:

  • Housing discrimination - denial of housing based on discrimination
  • Religious discrimination - destruction of property based upon prejudice
  • Violation of election laws - preventing someone from voting based on bias of religion, race or color


There are many other types of hate crimes that exist which can lead to criminal charges and require legal assistance to avoid a conviction, a few of these being: 


  • Political hate crimes
  • Sexual orientation or gender hate crimes 
  • Racial hate crimes
  • Gang-related hate crimes


If you have been charged with a violent crime in the Gwinnett County area or in another section in the state of Georgia, you should contact a criminal defense attorney to help defend your rights. Penalties can be very harsh for violent hate crimes.  At the Law Office of Douglas Fox, we specialize in criminal defense including violent crimes. We are aggressive, experienced and work hard for our clients to obtain the best possible outcome for each individual case. Mr. Fox, a native Georgian, knows how to create strong successful defense strategies and can assist you with your legal needs.

Contact a Gwinett County Violent Crimes Lawyer in our office to set up a free consultation.

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