Federal Hate Crimes – 18 U.S.C. § 249
Hate crimes are unaccepted by society and have much negative attention. So if you are being charged with a hate crime, our Los Angeles Federal Attorneys understand the difficulty you may be facing and we want to help.
18 USC Section 249 spells out what a hate crime is at the federal level. Crimes can be charged at both the state and federal level, depending on what happens, where it happens and who is involved. The feds will usually get involved with a hate-related offense if it has to do with some serious issue that they believe they should be the ones dealing with. So, it's really a policy issue where the feds deal with a hate crime or whether they let the state where it occurs or the jurisdiction where it occurs deal with it.
Really, when you're talking about these hate crimes in federal criminal defense, you're talking about people doing things — committing crimes against individuals because of their religion, race, gender or whether there's a homosexual undertone related to it. Anything in that realm or under that umbrella where people are committing crimes against individuals is going to be a hate crime allegation. The person is going to be charged with whatever crime they committed. Then there's going to be additional charges related to the hate crime offense.
Factors of Hate Crime Offense
That's one issue. The next issue is in the crime itself, is there any type of an injury? Is it a great bodily injury? Does death result? All of these factors will be played in to determine what the person's sentence will be if they're convicted for this hate-related offense at the federal level. As you might guess, if you or a loved on is charged with a hate crime at the federal level, these are the most serious crimes and judges and prosecutors are obviously going to try to not only prosecute the person in a serious manner but punish them in a severe manner.
So, you want to get a federal criminal defense attorney right away, even if it's at the investigative stage before the indictment occurs in the federal case so your attorney can start defending you right away. The question is going to be, what are you going to do strategically if you are facing a hate crime offense? Are you going to try to negotiate with the prosecutors? Or, is it going to be a situation where you're innocent and you're going to try to defend yourself?
This, in my opinion, is one of the most important decisions that has to be made in any federal case. What your strategy is going to be moving forward, and you really should decide that at the beginning of the case if you can, because then it will dictate everything else that you do related to a federal hate crime offense.
Obviously, you don't want to go an offense of attack against the government if ultimately, they're going to be able to prove that you're guilty of the crime and guilty of a hate crime. You want to take another tact — another angle — in that particular circumstance.
If on the other hand, you're innocent, you didn't do what they're claiming — they misconstrued something or you're simply not the person that committed the particular crime, then obviously your criminal defense attorney is going to do whatever is necessary to defend you and make the right moves, but these things have to be decided from the beginning.
Avoiding a Federal Conviction
So, we get you in the office. We talk under the umbrella of the attorney/client privilege and we make the decision of what we're going to do moving forward. You know what you're going to do. I know what I'm going to do. We're both on the same page and we start putting pieces in place to get this matter resolved the right way — get you out of the federal system as quick as possible — and if you have a hate crime, we want to do everything we can to try to avoid a conviction for that because of the bad penalties and ramifications that come along with that.
Our federal criminal defense lawyers have the drive and passion to help our clients. We have a genuine interest in protecting your freedom, rights, and reputation. We understand the stress and pressure one may face being charged with a federal crime and we are here to lift some of those burdens and do everything we can to get you the best possible results.
Due to the violent nature of hate crimes, hate crimes carry some severe penalties including prison time, fines, and loss of employment. Hate crimes involve violence towards a person solely due to that person's ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or group affiliation. The penalties depend on a number of circumstances such as any priors, the form of hate crime (verbal assault, physical assault, murder, etc.), probation, parole status just to name a few.
If you are facing charges of hate crime, it is important that you obtain the services f a skilled and most importantly, an aggressive federal defense attorney. Our criminal attorneys have experience and knowledge on federal laws and federal procedures. We are confident in our fight and legal strategy we use for the benefits of our clients. You can entrust your case with our lawyers and we can assure you that we will pursue your case persistently to get you favorable results.
If you or someone you know is being charged with federal hate crime, call the Hedding Law Firm today. We will discuss your case and should you decide to retain us, we will begin preparing immediately! Pick up the phone now. Make the call. I've been doing federal criminal defense now for twenty-five years. I'm sure I can guide you through this matter.