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Posted by: Maricopa Lawyers on Jan 9, 2015

Were you involved in an incident where you were targeted because you belong to a specific group or community?  Did the incident involve physical assault, damage to your property, bullyingharassment, threatening graffiti or hate mail?  If any of these have happened to you, you may have been a victim of a hate crime.

Hate crimes are criminal acts against an individual or group of individuals because of their actual or perceived race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sexual orientation, gender or disability.  They are usually violent, prejudice motivated acts, and because the victims are targeted for who they are and the community in which they belong, they continue to feel threatened long after an attack.  If you’ve been victimized, you can find a lawyer in Phoenix who specializes in your type of case.

In 1990, the federal government passed legislation that requires the U.S. attorney general to collect data on hate crimes committed across the country.  Phoenix, Arizona has consistently reported the third-most hate crimes in the country, behind New York and Los Angeles, and the occurrence of hate crimes rose 125 percent from 2006 to 2010.

Arizona’s bias-crime statute allows harsher sentences for crimes involving prejudice based on  If a judge or jury agrees that biases targeting these groups and others were a factor in the crime, prosecutors can seek harsher sentences for the guilty party.  Hate crimes are particularly heinous because they target an entire group of people.

If there is evidence that a crime was committed out of  malice towards you because of the your identity in a group or even your perceived identity in a group, your case can be classified as a hate crime, and the guilty party will face harsher sentences as a result.

Hate crimes victimize everyone.  The entire community is affected.