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Orlando Hate Crimes Lawyer


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:

  • Presenting facts that support the defendant's innocence
  • Proving mistaken identity
  • Demonstrating the evidence is insufficient
  • Showing that bias against a person or group was not the motivation for the underlying crime
Penalties for a Hate Crime Conviction in Orlando & Central Florida

Although penalties will be incurred for the underlying crime, hate crimes also carry consequences which may include:

  • Substantial fines
  • Loss of the right to own a deadly weapon
  • Loss of the right to vote
  • Lengthy imprisonment
  • Probation or parole
  • Community service to the group/individual targeted in the crime
  • Mandatory education or rehabilitation
  • Strike on your criminal record

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.

Client Reviews

I would like thank my attorney Thomas Luka. I knew from the beginning I had the right guy in my corner. While celebrating with family and friends at a Public Park in Seminole County, a fight broke out among various people. Myself, and a good friend, broke up the fight and the instigators left. Six months later, I was wrongly accused as the person who started the fight. The first attorney I hired could not even get a response from the State Attorney handling the case. Someone referred me to Tom and I felt comfortable at his demeanor and reactions.

After conversations with Tom, who knew I would settle for nothing less than a FULL DISMISSAL due to my innocence, I hired him. His firm of Adams and Luka did the due diligence by interviewing witnesses and the police who were on the scene, as well as starting a dialogue with the State Attorney. After gathering statements from witnesses, Tom was able to present a strong argument on my behalf to the State Attorney on why the case should be dismissed. If the State Attorney was not willing to dismiss the case, Tom was ready to take the case to trial.

The result by Thomas Luka: Case Dismissed.

I am 53 years old with a spotless record and glad to keep it that way thanks to the time, effort, hard work, and professionalism of the Adams and Luka and Tom Luka.

Earl from Mesquite
Thomas Luka left a life-long great impression of lawyers. He was always professional, on time, and answered things honestly. From the start and during the 14 months it went on - Tom was very upfront and honest with me about the possible outcomes. The result was better than I had hoped for. Tom really over-delivered. HIGHLY RECOMMEND. Marcela Giorgi
Adams and Luka were very professional and savvy in the courtroom. When you're in court with Mr. Luka you will think you have the best attorney there. I recommend this law firm. Pioneer Tech
Rich Adams is an outstanding criminal attorney. I have had the opportunity to refer several friends and clients to his practice for handling of criminal matters, and on every occasion he has produced an excellent result. Rich practices with attention to detail, a thorough knowledge of the law, and a passion to defend his clients. I will continue to refer clients to Rich Adams, and would strongly recommend him for your legal needs. Brian Pink