New York Civil Rights & Criminal Defense Lawyers

What are hate crimes, and how are they punished?

New York federal law enforcement officials take hate crimes seriously. A person who faces charges needs immediate help with their case as hate crimes are considered federal offenses and carry serious consequences.

Understanding hate crimes

Hate crimes are motivated by bias against a specific group of people who are considered protected. Crimes perpetrated against anyone for certain characteristics or perceived characteristics such as race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability or national origin are not taken lightly. As such, a person who commits a hate crime can face serious repercussions.

How hate crimes are committed

The purpose behind a hate crime is always intolerance or bigotry and often involves violence to deliberately harm the victim. These are also known as bias crimes. Often, a person committing one uses verbal threats, physical violence, weapons or vandalism to cause fear in the victims. Unfortunately, many of these crimes go unreported because of fear or the belief that law enforcement won’t do anything about them.

Breaking down hate crimes

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, around 48% of all hate crime victims are targeted by race while around one-third thought they were targeted because of their ethnicity or gender.

Around 23% of victims of hate crimes reported that they believed they were targeted because of groups they associated with or because of their sexual orientation. Another 17% stated that they were victimized due to religion and 16% believed they were targeted because of disability.

Although the majority of hate crimes are perpetrated by white people at 48.4%, people of other races are also known offenders, according to 2015 data from the FBI.




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