The Hate Crimes Prevention Act

On October 28, 2009, President Obama signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law. This law, also referred to as the Mathew Shepard Act or the Hate Crimes Prevention Act (HCPA), expends the current federal hate crimes law to include crimes motivated by the victim's actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, or disability.

Under the previous hate crimes law from 1969, hate crimes were defined as only those crimes motivated by race, color, national origin, and religion. Now, under the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the Department of Justice can prosecute hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation, gender, and disability as well.

Examples of Hate Crimes

A hate crime is considered any crime that is committed against a person because of his or her race, national origin, religion, color, gender, sexual orientation, or disability. Examples of hate crimes include:

  • Murder/manslaughter
  • Sex crimes, such as rape, sexual assault, molestation
  • Kidnapping
  • Making criminal threats
  • Assault & battery
  • Violent crimes
  • Arson
  • Robbery
  • Vandalism

Contact a Dedicated Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been accused of committing a hate crime in Oakland County or Wayne County, it is imperative that you contact an experienced and aggressive Michigan criminal defense lawyer at the Law Offices of Freedman & Freedman right away. Under the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, you could be sentenced to up to a lifetime in prison for the most serious charges, so it is important that you do not underestimate the seriousness of your situation. Should you choose to work with a criminal defense attorney at our office, you can trust us to work diligently in defending your rights and helping you beat your charges to avoid a life-altering conviction.

To learn more about the defense services offered at firm, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Freedman & Freedman today!