Houston Federal Hate Crimes Attorneys

Houston, Texas federal hate crimes lawyers

Federal Hate Crimes Lawyers in Houston, TX

Hate crimes are criminal offenses committed against individuals based on their race, religion, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability. These acts of violence do not only harm the victims, but they also create a climate of fear and hostility within communities. The federal government takes hate crimes very seriously, and it has enacted laws to prosecute offenders who are accused of these offenses.

If you have been charged with a federal hate crime in Houston, or if you believe you are under investigation for such an offense, it is essential to seek legal representation from an experienced attorney who understands the complexities involved in these cases. At Bennett & Bennett, our skilled federal crimes defense attorneys have extensive knowledge of federal hate crime laws, and we will vigorously defend your rights throughout every stage of the legal process.

When Can I Be Charged With a Federal Hate Crime?

To understand when you can be charged with a hate crime, it is essential first to clarify what constitutes a hate crime under federal law. According to 18 U.S.C. § 1591, an offense is considered a hate crime if a person purposely caused a bodily injury to someone else because of their race, national origin, race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability. Actions taken to inflict injuries on someone else may be based on the victim's actual or perceived status as a member of a protected group. Criminal charges may apply based on injuries inflicted through physical assaults or the use of firearms, other dangerous weapons, explosives, or fires.

Potential examples of hate crimes that may result in federal charges include:

  • Assaulting someone because of their perceived gender identity
  • Placing a bomb in a religious building and causing serious injuries to anyone who was near the explosion
  • Setting fire to a business that serves minorities, such as an ethnic restaurant
  • Attempting to murder a person or group of people who belong to a certain race or religion

Hate crimes that involve the destruction of property or other less-serious offenses may result in state-level charges. While these offenses may not seem to be as serious, they may still result in severe penalties, and in cases where someone is accused of injuring members of a protected group, they will be more likely to face federal prosecution.

Potential Criminal Penalties for Federal Hate Crimes

The specific consequences a person may face if they are convicted of a federal hate crime may depend on factors such as the nature and severity of the offense. Some potential penalties include:

  • Imprisonment: In general, individuals who are convicted of federal hate crimes may be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison. However, if an alleged offense includes kidnapping, sexual assault, or attempts to kill, or if an offender's actions led to someone's death, a person may be sentenced to any number of years, up to life in prison.
  • Fines: In addition to potential imprisonment, those found guilty of committing a federal hate crime may also be ordered to pay fines of up to $250,000.
  • Mandatory Restitution: Restitution refers to compensating victims for their losses incurred as a result of a crime. A court may order someone convicted of a federal hate crime to pay restitution directly to their victims for medical expenses, counseling fees, property damage repair costs, and other financial losses suffered due to the offense.

Contact Our Experienced Houston Federal Hate Crimes Defense Attorneys

Being charged with a federal hate crime is an extremely serious matter that can have severe consequences for your future. At Bennett & Bennett, we are committed to providing representation for clients facing federal charges in Houston, Texas. Our team of skilled attorneys will carefully analyze the facts of your case, develop a creative defense strategy, and fight on your behalf throughout every stage of the legal process.

If you are under investigation or have been arrested for a federal hate crime, it is crucial to act quickly to protect your rights. Contact us at 713-224-1747 or fill out an online contact form to schedule a confidential consultation and learn how we can help you.

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