Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr., P.A.

Call For A Free Consultation


Clinton: 301-856-3030

Dunkirk: 301-855-3100

Clinton: 301-856-3030

Dunkirk: 301-855-3100

Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr., P.A. is here for you during this difficult time by continuing to remain open and fully functioning. Whether you’re having a personal injury, workers comp, family law, protective order, criminal law or traffic defense related issue, our attorneys are available by appointment, phone or video consultations to meet your needs. To schedule a consultation, please call our office at 301-856-3030 or contact us through our website and we will respond promptly.

Serving Our
Community Since 1967

It is critical to find a lawyer you can trust. One of Maryland's best-known attorneys and public servants, Mike
Miller has been active in Prince George's County and nearby communities for more than 50 years.

Why are hate crime charges particularly serious?

On Behalf of | Aug 7, 2015 | Federal Crimes |

Why are some crimes considered “hate crimes,” while others are not? Hate crime charges can result when a crime is determined to be motivated by the victim’s race, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation — either real or perceived.

Maryland has hate crime laws. However, hate crimes can also be prosecuted on the federal level. In 2009, President Obama signed the Shepard Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law. Among other things, the law increases penalties for people convicted of violent hate crimes.

Hate crimes are taken very seriously by state and federal prosecutors. That’s in part because they are often perpetrated in order to send a message and to provoke fear in others who share a particular characteristic, such as religion or sexual orientation, with the victim.

Even if the victim of a crime is not a member of a particular group, if it is alleged that he or she was victimized because the assailant perceived him or her to be, the defendant can still be charged with a hate crime. For example, after 9/11, a number of people of the Sikh faith were attacked by people who mistook them for Muslims. Obviously an attack on someone based on their affiliation with any religion would be considered a hate crime. However, these attacks demonstrate that someone’s appearance alone can move some people to violence.

If you or a loved one are facing state and/or federal hate crime charges, it’s essential to seek experienced legal guidance. If prosecutors cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that your alleged actions were motivated by bias or hate against a person for a characteristic such as those we mentioned, it will impact the legal penalties faced.

Source: U.S. Department of Justice, “Civil Rights Prosecutions: Hate Crimes,” Benjamin B. Wagner, accessed Aug. 07, 2015


FindLaw Network
Attorney Image