In Florida, hate crimes cover a number of criminal acts aimed at specific groups or people, usually based on sexual orientation, religion, race, gender, ethnicity, disability, or even political affiliation. Some of the most common offenses committed against a targeted group or person include rape, vandalism, harassment, physical assault, robbery, attacks on the victim's home or church, or even crimes as serious as murder. At Adams & Luka, we know all too well how serious the consequences of being found guilty of a hate crime are. Not only is your freedom at stake, but your career and reputation as well. When accused of a potentially life-changing offense, it is urgent that you consult with a capable and aggressive Orlando hate crimes defense attorney right away.
Typically, an individual will be charged with a hate crime in addition to the underlying offense, which results in harsher criminal penalties. For instance, if the alleged offender is charged with vandalism or harassment, the fact that the offense was committed because of a person's race, sexual orientation, or other factor will leave the offender facing enhanced penalties which could be in the form of lengthened jail/prison time, additional fines, and more. Whether you have been arrested or charged with a hate crime, or are under investigation, you have legal rights that must be protected. Before you answer questions posed by police or talk to anyone else, be sure to have a seasoned Orlando violent crimes defense lawyer to provide you with legal guidance and support.Defenses to Charges of Hate Crimes in Florida
In cases involving hate crimes, also referred to by some as bias-motivated crimes, the state must prove specific elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict the defendant. The prosecutor must provide convincing evidence to the jury or judge that a criminal act such as robbery or vandalism was actually committed by the defendant, and that the defendant did so intentionally because of the victim's ethnicity, religious beliefs, etc. In many cases, a defense attorney may challenge whether the prosecutor has successfully proven the elements of the crime, or the evidence brought forward by the state.
The defense strategy your lawyer works with you to develop will depend on many factors, as the details of each case are different. Some of the most common and effective defenses used to fight charges of hate crimes include:
Although penalties will be incurred for the underlying crime, hate crimes also carry consequences which may include:
It is also important to note that hate crimes are often highly publicized in the media, which could result in ruin of your reputation and standing in the community.Contact Adams & Luka Now
For a hate crime to occur, physical harm or injury is not required. If the underlying crime involves violence which results in murder/death of the victim, the defendant could potentially face the death penalty if convicted. As you can see, securing the legal support and representation of a qualified Orlando hate crimes attorney is critical in protecting your legal rights and freedom. You must choose a criminal defense lawyer who is skilled, aggressive, and capable both in and out of the courtroom. Take action immediately; call our firm for a free consultation at (407) 872-0307 or (352) 787-2101.