Are you facing charges for Hate Crimes? Violation of Penal Code 422.55 is a very serious offense. Those charged with hate crimes can face exorbitant fines and penalties that can result in years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines and restitution. Too often, criminal offenses that do not qualify as being hate crimes are prosecuted as such, and defendants suffer the injustice of being convicted of crimes for which they did not commit.
At MacGregor & Collins, LLP, our criminal attorneys in Southern California are committed to providing the best possible legal defense available, regardless of the crimes for which our clients are accused of committing. Contact us today and you will receive a free case evaluation to help you determine what options are in your best interest.
PC 422.55 Defined
California Penal Code 422.55 outlines what’s considered to be a hate crime. It’s defined as committing crimes due to the offender’s perceptions about the victim’s traits. These include:
- Mental of physical disability of the victim
- Stereotyping the gender of the victim
- The national origin of the victim
- The race of the victim, or even the ethnic group in which they fall under
- The religious beliefs of the victim
- The sex lifestyle or orientation of the victim
- A group or association with which the victim is affiliated
In 1964, the Federal Civil Rights Law was enacted, and California followed suit in 1987.
The California Hate Crimes law makes it a criminal offense to use force, violence or threat to intimidate, harm or disturb someone else – willfully and due to their race, national origin, religion, ancestry, sexual orientation, disability, gender, color or group association. And also because the victim was attempting to engage in a federally protected activity, such as school enrollment, voting or working.
Penalties for CPC 422.55 Violations
Penalties for Hate Crimes depend on several factors, which the prosecution examines. The crime could be charged under one of the following:
Hate Crimes, Under California Penal Code 422.6 is a misdemeanor and those found guilty face:
- Up to one year in jail
- Up to $5,000 in fines
- Up to 400 hours of community service
Aggravating Factors for Hate Crimes, Under California Penal Code 422.7 makes the crime a felony, and those found guilty face:
- Up to 3 years in the California State Prison
- Up to $10,000 in fines
Enhanced Penalties for Hate Crimes, Under California Penal Code 422.75 are applied in addition to the convicted felony punishments. An additional 1,2 or 3 years in the California State Prison is applied to the underlying sentencing. Offenders that commit the hate crime themselves, or who aided someone else in doing so, face an extra two, three or four years in prison, in addition to the above sentencing.
Hate Crime Legal Defense
If you are facing Hate Crimes for California Penal Code Section 422.55, the OC criminal defense attorneys at MacGregor & Collins can help you. Call us today at (888) 250-2865 or fill out our contact form. Sometimes getting the right penal code information at the right time can make all the difference.