Florida Hate Crime Basics – Explained by a Miami Criminal Defense Attorney
Miami Criminal Defense Attorney News: It might seem surprising, but it is possible for the criminal justice system to punish a person based upon his or her thoughts. This is what happens when a defendant faces charges of a hate crime. Hate crimes are crimes which are motivated by specific prejudices and are therefore punished more severely than the same crime would be if it were not motivated by prejudice. While these well-intended laws are intended to prevent racial violence and other serious societal problems, they put the government in the uncomfortable position of punishing a person based upon his or her beliefs. This is why it is so important to be represented by an experienced Miami criminal defense attorney if you are facing hate crime charges. The seasoned attorney at Stroleny Law, P.A. has extensive experience in dealing with all types of hate crimes. Call (305) 615-1285 for a free phone consultation to protect your legal rights as soon as possible.
How Florida Law Addresses Hate Crimes
Different states address hate crimes with different legal approaches. In Florida, crimes are classified one level higher if the offense “evidences prejudice based on the race, color, ancestry, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, homeless status, or advanced age of the victim.” This law is codified at Section 775.085 of the Florida Statutes. By charging a crime at a higher class, prosecutors can seek harsher penalties for defendants. This can include a longer period of incarceration, more expensive fines, extended periods of probation or community service, and other similar penalties.
Real Examples of Florida Hate Crimes
Hate crimes are not an abstract legal concept that only appears on television crime dramas. Right here in Florida, prosecutors frequently avail themselves of hate crime provisions. A Holiday man was recently arrested for trespassing into the home of an Iraqi family. According to WTOL 11, the man told police that Middle Easterners “don’t belong here” and that if he didn’t get rid of them “Trump would take care of it.” The investigation continues, but prosecutors could charge the man with a hate crime.
Miami prosecutors are also considering hate crime charges for a white man who was filmed yelling racial slurs at a group of black teenagers. The Panama City News Herald reports that the teens were at a housing inequality protest on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day when they became involved in a confrontation with the man’s girlfriend. The man maintains that he was only attempting to protect his girlfriend.
Experienced Representation for the Defense of All Florida Hate Crimes
Hate crimes enter the difficult territory of punishing a person based upon his or her thoughts. This is a dangerous legal position, and it is important for defendants charged with hate crimes to be represented by an experienced Miami criminal defense attorney. All defendants have legal rights that are guaranteed by the federal Constitution, the Florida Constitution, the Florida Statutes, and Florida case law. A defendant can best protect these legal rights by hiring an experienced defense attorney. The seasoned attorney at Stroleny Law, P.A. has experience in dealing with prosecutors from various law enforcement agencies across Florida. Call (305) 615-1285 for a free phone consultation to protect your legal rights as soon as possible. You can also send us an email through our online contact form.
Stroleny Law, P.A. handles a variety of criminal law cases, so call now if you have any questions.
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