Being charged with a hate crime is a serious matter as the public can instantly form a negative opinion about the defendant and taint the potential jury pool. Individuals that are convicted of this crime can also face very serious punishments. When a person is charged with such a serious crime, it is in his best interest to consult a skilled Houston criminal defense lawyer who can protect his legal rights, such as Mario Madrid.
A hate crime is a crime that is perpetrated against a person due to some type of prejudice. The crime itself is not typically what makes it called a “hate crime.” Hate crimes may include physical assault, verb attacks, vandalism, criminal harassment, murder or other crimes. Instead, the “hate” aspect comes from the reason why the defendant targeted the victim. Reasons that crimes may be listed as a “hate crime” include if the defendant targeted the victim because of his:
- National origin
- Political affiliation
- Gender identity
- Sexual orientation
- Socioeconomic status
What Are the Potential Punishments for Hate Crimes?
The degree of punishments that a defendant charged with hate crimes depends on a variety of factors, including whether the defendant has any prior convictions and whether he is currently on probation or parole. Additionally, because these types of cases often garner much media attention, prosecutors may try to seek the maximum punishment against the defendant to send a message to the public.
If proven guilty, a defendant may receive a significant prison sentence. He may also be required to pay heavy fines and be subjected to mandatory rehabilitation. He may be placed on probation or parole. Additionally, a defendant may also face irreparable harm to his career and reputation, especially if he is wrongfully accused.
Charged With a Felony, Misdemeanor, or Federal Crime?
Contact Houston Criminal Justice Lawyer Mario Madrid
Burden of Proof
For a prosecutor to prevail against the defendant, he must prove every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that he must prove to the jury that the defendant was motivated by hate against a particular group of people. If he cannot prove this element, he may choose to reduce the charges to a less serious offense.
Get Help From a Hate Crimes Lawyer
Mario Madrid is an experienced criminal defense attorney. He also has experience as a former municipal court judge and as an assistant district attorney. He will use this knowledge of the other side to anticipate the strategies that the prosecution will use during the trial.
Speak with attorney Mario Madrid by calling 713-877-9400 and get a free case evaluation.