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Posted on in Felonies

hate crime, Elgin criminal defense attorneyThe phrase "hate crime" is often used by the media and in casual conversation about certain types of criminal acts. Under state and federal law, however, "hate crime" has a specific meaning. Hate crimes are unique in that punishment for the crimes may be enhanced as a direct result of perpetrator’s motives for committing the crime.

How Illinois Defines a "Hate Crime"

A person commits a hate crime in Illinois when he or she commit one of the specifically listed acts because of "an actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, or national origin of a person or group." This means that you can commit a hate crime even if you are mistaken about someone’s characteristics. It also means that not just any crime can be a hate crime. The crime must be one of the crimes listed in the law. For example, rape and murder are not listed as possible hate crimes in the Illinois statute.

The crimes that can be considered hate crimes include:

  • Assault;
  • Battery;
  • Aggravated assault;
  • Theft;
  • Criminal trespass to a residence;
  • Criminal trespass to real property;
  • Mob action;
  • Disorderly conduct; and
  • Harassment.

In January 2018, the Illinois legislature added several more offenses to the list of possible hate crimes. Stalking, cyberstalking, the transmission of obscene messages, and harassment through electronic communications can now be considered hate crimes depending on the perpetrator’s motivation.

Enhanced Penalties for Hate Crimes

The Illinois hate crime law increases the penalties for actions that are already against the law. In almost all cases a hate crime is a felony, even in cases where the "regular" crime is only a misdemeanor. This means that the maximum penalty for a hate crime could be anywhere between one to thirty years in prison, depending on the facts of the case.

Defenses to Hate Crime Allegations

If the prosecutor is going to charge a crime under the hate crime laws, the prosecutor will have an extra burden at trial. The prosecutor will need to show a judge or jury beyond a reasonable doubt that the person committed the crime and that the defendant was motivated by the one of the conditions listed in the statute.

A criminal defense lawyer may try to show that the suspect could not have committed the underlying crime. However, in some instances, the evidence is overwhelming that the defendant did commit the crime. In those cases the best defense may be to explain the motives of the defendant in committing the crime were not those covered by the hate crime law. A successful defense will create doubt in the minds of the jury about the motives of the defendant.

Contact Us for Help

If you have been charged with a crime, you need to speak with a tough and knowledgeable Kane County criminal defense attorney. Call 847-488-0889 to schedule a free consultation at The The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola today. Do not speak to anyone about your case until you have talked to a lawyer.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/072000050K12-7.1.htm

Last modified on

hate crime, Elgin criminal defense attorneyIn early January of this year, the nation was horrified at a shocking display of racism and violence. An 18-year-old disabled man was brutally attacked by four young individuals who filmed and broadcasted themselves physically and emotionally torturing him.

In a Facebook Live video stream, the victim can be seen bound and gagged. The aggressors tease, taunt, and humiliate the teen. They beat, stabbed, punched, and kicked the victim, as well as cut off part of his scalp with a knife. The video of the torture lasts about 30 minutes but the victim was bound for several hours. During the video of the attack, the four suspects, who are black, can be heard making expletive-laced comments about "white people" and President Donald Trump. One of the four individuals involved in the attack contacted the victim&s mother and demanded a $300 ransom for the victim&s return.

A Horrifying Situation

The references to President Trump and "white people" led many to believe that the violence was racially or politically motivated. Some attributed the attack to the "Black Lives Matter" movement. According to police, the torture only stopped when a downstairs neighbor complained about the noise. The four people believed to be responsible were eventually arrested and a GoFundMe campaign was set up for the victim.

Last week, one of the aggressors—a 19-year-old woman—pleaded guilty to aggravated battery and intimidation charges, as well as to committing a hate crime. She was sentenced to four years of probation. Cook County Circuit Judge William Hooks called the incident "horrific." He forbade the woman from using social media during her four-year probation, banned her from contacting the other suspects in the case, and ordered her to perform 200 hours of community service.

The judge said that he did not impose a prison sentence because he did not think it would be beneficial. He said to the woman, "I’m not sure if I did that you’d be coming out any better." She does face prison if she violates any of the restrictions. As part of a plea deal, prosecutors dropped additional charges against the woman, including kidnapping.

Contact a Skilled Attorney

Allegations of any type of violent crime are extremely serious. If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges, contact an experienced Elgin criminal defense attorney. Call 847-488-0889 for a free consultation with a member of our team today. We will review your case and help you determine the best course of action for moving forward.

Sources:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-met-facebook-live-beating-disabled-teen-20171208-story.html

http://www.fox32chicago.com/news/crime/chicago-police-4-in-custody-after-young-man-tortured-on-facebook-live

Last modified on

Posted on in Criminal Defense

hate crime, Illinois criminal defense attorney"Hate crime" is a phrase often used in the media and in casual conversation about certain types of criminal acts. Under state and federal law, "hate crime" has a specific meaning. Hate crimes are unique in that punishment for the crimes are enhanced specifically because of the criminal’s motives for committing the crime. How Illinois Defines "Hate Crime"

You commit a hate crime in Illinois if you commit a one of the specifically listed offenses because of "an actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, or national origin of a person or group". This means that you can commit a hate crime against a person even if you are mistaken about someone’s characteristics. It also means that not just any crime can be a hate crime. The crime must be one of the crimes listed in the law. For example, rape and murder are not listed as possible hate crimes in the Illinois statute.

The offenses that can be considered hate crimes include:

  • Assault
  • Battery
  • Aggravated assault
  • Theft
  • Criminal trespass to a residence
  • Criminal trespass to real property
  • Mob action
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Harassment

Enhanced Penalties for Hate Crimes

The Illinois hate crime law increases the penalties for actions that are already criminalized. In almost all cases, a hate crime is a felony, even in cases where the "regular" crime is only a misdemeanor. This means that the maximum penalty for a hate crime could be up to thirty years in prison, depending on the facts of the case.

Defenses to Hate Crimes

If a prosecutor is going to charge a crime under the hate crime laws, he or she will have an extra burden at trial. The prosecutor will need to show a judge or jury beyond a reasonable doubt that the person committed the crime, and that they also were motivated by the one of the conditions listed in the statute.

A criminal defense lawyer may try and show this the defendant could not have committed the underlying crime. However, in some instances, the evidence is overwhelming that the defendant did commit the crime. In those cases, the best defense may be to explain the motives of the defendant in committing the crime were something not addressed by the hate crime law. A good defense can create doubt in the minds of the jury about the motives of the defendant.

If you have been charged with an offense that could potentially be prosecuted as a hate crime, you need help right away. Contact an experienced Elgin criminal defense attorney today to schedule your free initial consultation.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/072000050K12-7.1.htm

Last modified on
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