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Jacksonville & St. Augustine Lawyers > Blog > Criminal Defense > What Is Considered a Hate Crime in Florida?

What Is Considered a Hate Crime in Florida?

Depositphotos_37632957_m-2015Although you might not realize it, you can be punished under the law based on the thoughts in your head. In fact, this is what essentially happens when a person is convicted for a hate crime. In this blog, we explain what can be considered a hate crime in the state of Florida.

What’s the Definition of a Hate Crime?

Crimes motivated by particular sets of prejudices are considered hate crimes. These crimes are punished more severely than if the crime was committed without prejudice. The purpose of hate crime laws is to deter racial violence and other crimes that cause serious issues among societal groups.

According to Section 775.085 of the Florida Statutes, a crime becomes a hate crime if there is evidence of “prejudice based on the race, color, ancestry, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, homeless status, or advanced age of the victim.” Because hate crimes are a higher class of crime, prosecutors can pursue harsher penalties for defendants.

Additional penalties for hate crimes include:

  • A longer period of incarceration
  • Increased fines
  • Extended periods of probation or community service

Because hate crime charges require prosecutors to build a case around your personal beliefs, it is crucial to secure skilled legal representation to make sure your rights are protected.

Criminal Defense Attorneys Serving St. Augustine

At Albaugh Law Firm, we are committed to handling criminal cases on behalf of clients throughout the state of Florida. If you have been accused of committing a hate crime, you should immediately consult with our legal team to get started building your case strategy. Our experienced lawyers are here to answer all of your questions and walk you through every aspect of your case. We will use our extensive resources to fight for the justice you deserve, and we are ready to put our skills to work for you today.

Call 904-471-3434 to request a free consultation with one of our criminal defense lawyers in St. Augustine.

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