The Office of Governor Gavin Newsom issued a press release earlier this month announcing that California is awarding $30 million to 12 organizations to combat hate crime. According to the press release, the Office of the California Attorney General reported that hate crimes in the state had increased by over 89 percent in the past decade. In addition, the report from the California AG’s Office revealed that in 2021, hate crimes against Asians increased by 177 percent.
Reportedly, the $30 million will be used to increase funding for local services working to prevent hate crimes. The money will also be used to provide support to victims of hate crimes.
What Is Considered a Hate Crime in California?
In California, hate crimes are defined as criminal acts committed against others because of their actual or perceived:
- Ethnicity or race
- Sexual orientation
In addition, hate crimes can be committed against those who are associated with a person or group with any of the above characteristics.
What to Do If You’re Charged with a Hate Crime
If you’re charged with a hate crime, you should speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney about your situation as soon as possible. A criminal defense lawyer will be able to help guide you through the process of defending yourself against the charges. Criminal defense attorneys have an in-depth understanding of the law and can examine your case and provide you with best options to have your charges reduced or dismissed.
What Are the Legal Defenses for Hate Crimes Charges?
There are several defense strategies that can help a person accused of committing a hate crime. The following are a few of the most common legal defenses for hate crimes charges:
- The person accused of committing the hate crime was not motivated by bias toward the alleged victim
- The person accused of committing the hate crime did not commit an underlying crime
- The person accused of committing the hate crime was only exercising their right to express themselves through protected free speech
Contact Us for a Free Consultation with Our Experienced Hate Crime Defense Attorneys
A hate crime conviction can stay with you the rest of your life and result in severe penalties, including serving up to a year in county jail and paying up to $5,000 in fines.
At Appel & Morse, our experienced hate crime defense lawyers know how to defend clients charged with hate crimes. We understand the seriousness of hate crimes charges and will do everything legally possible to ensure that our clients’ charges are reduced or dismissed. Our criminal defense team has over 40 years of combined legal experience, and we have a long track record of helping clients secure the best possible outcomes for their situations.
To learn more about our law firm, read our clients’ testimonials.