Committing a Hate Crime in California
Within the criminal code, the state of California has a set of crimes that specifically deal with hate crimes. Our rights and freedoms protect against hate speech if it hinders civil rights, but the criminal justice system also addresses hate crimes that results in violence or other criminal actions. Some of the possible legal actions that can be taken against a hate crime include California Penal Code sections 422.6, 422.7, and 422.75. If you have any questions about your rights (or civil recourse), please contact us at Law Advocates Group for experienced counsel.
Charges Against Hate Crimes
Hate crimes can occur due to any of the following: nationality, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, religion, or membership within another group. However, a hate crime can also occur as long as the perpetrator believed the victim had any of the aforementioned characteristics, even if the victim actually did not. The most important aspect of a hate crime is that a crime is committed due to a bias against one of the previous characteristics. According to section 422.6 PC, a hate crime occurs due to the defendant’s bias against the victim’s real or assumed characteristic and the defendant injures or threatens them or damages their property. The other sections of the penal code include those who commit a misdemeanor or felony crime and do so because of their bias against a characteristic.
Punishments for Committing a Hate Crime
Those who are found guilty of a hate crime will face serious legal and life-altering consequences. Penalties for misdemeanor or felony hate crimes vary depending on the context of the crime. For example, some may face a misdemeanor that requires jail time and community service, whereas others can be charged with a felony that will result in multiple years in prison as well as paying substantial fines.