Three Things to Know About Hate Crimes in California

Hate crimes in California are rising, and more people are being accused of these crimes as protected groups expand. According to the California legislature, hate crimes are crimes committed against someone due to their race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation. As political associations have become a platform for violence, we may see political parties as another protected group in the future. If you have been accused of a hate crime, seek legal counsel as soon as possible. Exceptional criminal defense attorneys will fight for your rights to obtain the best outcome for your case.

California takes hate crimes seriously as long-lasting effects on victims can be devastating. Legislation is currently in place to punish those convicted of these crimes, which are referred to as "enhancements" because they piggyback on another crime. Hate crimes are different from personal conflict in the eyes of the law. Due to California's view of these crimes, it is critical to immediately retain a criminal defense attorney if you have been accused of hate crimes.

In many cases, it is probable that the hate crime accusation is unfounded and can be successfully argued against in court. Defense lawyers have a masterful knowledge of the law, the court's previous rulings, and other inside details unknown by someone trying to fight accusations independently.

Hate Crimes Do Not Stand Alone

In California, hate crimes are considered enhancement charges. This means that if the defendant is found not guilty of the initial crime associated with the accusation of a hate crime, there will not be a conviction. The prosecution must prove the crime was purely out of hate, and chose the victim based on a protected group under California law. An example will be if a person robs a Jewish Temple. If the expert defense attorney could get the robbery charges dismissed, there would be no hate crime conviction.

Additionally, in this case, the crime alone is not enough to prove it was a hate crime unless there is evidence of purposeful choosing of the victims due to race. Evidence may involve saying something discriminatory that indicated the crime was forethought due to having a prejudice. As is expected, proving this can be challenging. It often comes down to one witness's testimony against the other. An experienced defense attorney will comb through the evidence, fight the accusations, and get expert testimonies if necessary. The success of a case, including hate crime accusations, has a lot to do with the defense attorney's quality and level of expertise. The more knowledge and success a lawyer have helping other clients fight criminal charges, the more wisdom they bring to your case.

Hire a Lawyer Before Speaking with Police

If you are arrested, it is your right not to say anything that may be used against you later. Demand to speak with a local defense lawyer that is adept at hate crime law. All Law enforcement are aware that citizens are protected under the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution. When someone is arrested, and they try to explain what happened or convince police it was not a hate crime, those words may get twisted later and work against the defendant. An example is when someone is being accused of a hate crime, they make a comment that can be construed as evidence of a targeted incident. Even if the crime was not targeting a protected group, these words can be used by the prosecution as evidence to the contrary.

Hate Crime Penalties

Penalties for crimes in California can seriously disrupt life, causing financial and other hardships. Misdemeanors or felonies may both potentially result in jail sentences and large fines. A defendant's history of crimes is considered when determining penalties. Having someone with experience at your side means the best possible outcome. There are plea bargains, reduced charges, home arrest, community service, and behavior management classes that may be presented by your hate crime attorney to allow you to get life back to normal. If these are not requested, the defendant is stuck with whatever the court sees fit. Additionally, hate crime convictions will affect firearm possession in California and in some cases, may be revoked for up to ten years.

The top criminal defense attorneys can fight any criminal charges you or a loved one are facing. Accusations and arrests are scary things to experience, and often people find themselves struggling with how best to proceed after these occur. It can be overwhelming and tracking dates and filing deadlines alone can be a full-time job. Professional defense attorneys know the ins and outs of the courts and will not miss a deadline. The wisest thing anyone can do is find a professional lawyer to fight for you. If you are facing criminal charges in San Diego, there is no better defense attorney with experience fighting hate crime accusations and charges than Joni Eisenstein. With more than 30 years of experience and one of the highest success rates for case outcomes, Joni has the experience you need, and genuinely cares for her clients. Do not wait and contact an attorney as soon as possible.

If you are on the fence about hiring a defense attorney, stop thinking about it, and do it now

Hiring a criminal defense attorney like Joni Eisenstein can help you go from a place of uncertainty to freedom.