Is a hate crime only due to racism?

Hate crimes are crimes that are born out of bigotry. These crimes are meant to intimidate or hurt someone because of his or her race, sexual orientation, disability, religion, ethnicity or national origin. Hate crimes are also known as bias crimes and can take place in many ways. Those who commit them may use explosives, vandalism and verbal or physical violence to intimidate, threaten or harm others.

Hate crimes often go unreported because those who are victims feel that they have nowhere to turn. They may believe that the community will not help them or that the local government doesn't care about their problems. This leads to those who commit hate crimes getting away with their actions, which weakens communities and encourages further violence and tension.

Close to half of all hate crimes are a result of racial bias, showing that this is the most likely reason someone will become a victim. Another third of people were targeted due to ethnicity or gender. The majority of those who commit hate crimes are white or Caucasian, but that doesn't mean that others can't be to blame. Approximately 24.3 percent of people committing hate crimes in 2015 were African American. Around 1 percent were Asian. Another 16.2 percent were unknown.

If you are accused of committing a hate crime, it's in your best interest to work with someone who can help you build a strong case against the charges. Hate crimes are significant, and a conviction could lead to lasting consequences along with significant damage to your reputation now and in the future.

Source: FindLaw, "Hate Crime: The Violence of Intolerance," accessed April 12, 2018

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