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Phoenix Hate Crimes Attorney

Phoenix Hate Crimes Attorney

Were you recently arrested or charged with a hate crime in Phoenix, AZ? Arizona courts take hate crime charges extremely seriously. You could be facing jail time, monetary penalties, and damage to your reputation. An experienced Phoenix hate crimes attorney at Orent Law Offices can help you minimize the damage caused by these allegations.

Our lawyers have over 34 years of experience handling complex criminal cases. Our legal team is led by a state-bar-certified criminal law specialist who knows the laws in Phoenix inside and out.

You don’t have time to waste if you’re accused of committing a hate crime. If you’re facing criminal charges, call our law firm in Phoenix, Arizona at (480) 656-7301 to schedule a free consultation today.

How Orent Law Offices Can Help if You Were Arrested for a Hate Crime in Phoenix?

How Orent Law Offices Can Help if You Were Arrested for a Hate Crime in Phoenix?

Hate crimes carry a significant social stigma. You might feel like the whole world is against you if you’ve been charged with a hate crime. An experienced criminal defense attorney at Orent Law Offices can stand up and fight to clear your name.

Our founding attorney, Craig Orent, has been listed as one of the “10 Best Criminal Defense Attorneys in Arizona”. He’s also been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America and earned a perfect-10 rating on Avvo.

Hiring our legal team to defend you means you’ll have a Phoenix hate crimes attorney to:

  • Conduct an independent investigation to locate exculpatory evidence
  • Carefully examine the prosecution’s evidence for holes and weakness
  • Explore every defense strategy available
  • Make sure you understand your legal options
  • Help you understand the implications of any plea deal
  • Negotiate with prosecutors to have your case dismissed, or the charges downgraded

Accusations aren’t the same as a conviction. Our Phoenix defense attorneys will vigorously defend you in the courtroom if a trial becomes necessary. To launch the defense you deserve, give us a call to learn more about creating an attorney-client relationship today.

Overview of Hate Crimes in Arizona

Technically, any type of criminal offense can be classified as a hate crime. A hate crime is a crime that is motivated by bias or malice against members of a protected class. 

Under Arizona Revised Statutes Section 13-701, evidence that the crime was committed because of malice toward a victim because of the victim’s identity in certain groups is an aggravating factor. You might also be charged with a hate crime because of your perception of the victim’s membership in certain groups.

In other words, the judge can impose harsher penalties than would otherwise be available based on the crime you’re accused of committing.

“Protected groups” is defined under Arizona Revised Statutes Section 41-1750 to include:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Color
  • National origin
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender
  • Disability 

In order to convict on hate crime charges, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  • You committed a criminal offense
  • You committed the crime because of animosity, malice, or hatred of the victim’s membership in a protected group

Allegations of hate crimes are often emotionally charged. You might think that it’s pointless to fight the charges. However, it’s often difficult to prove that your actions were motivated by hatred of a certain race or religion.

Our Phoenix hate crimes lawyers will do everything we can to protect you. There are many strong defense strategies that can be used to establish your innocence or have the charges against you downgraded. This site is for informational purposes only. For legal advice, call our legal team to schedule a free case review today.

Examples of Hate Crimes

Like domestic violence cases, nearly any type of crime can be classified as a hate crime. The hate crime itself isn’t prosecuted separately. Rather, it becomes a part of the underlying criminal case. Many hate crimes cases involve vandalism, property crimes, aggravated assault, and other violent crimes.

For example, you might be charged with a hate crime if you’re accused of:

  • Vandalizing a church, synagogue, mosque, or another religious establishment
  • Assaulting someone while making racial slurs or derogatory comments about the person’s sexual orientation
  • Defacing property with symbols of hate
  • Using racial slurs or hate speech to threaten or intimidate another person 
  • Committing murder or sexual assault because of a person’s gender identity or protected characteristics

It isn’t enough for the prosecution to show that you displayed hatred or bias against a particular group. State prosecutors must prove that you committed some type of criminal act that was motivated by anger, rage, or hatred.

Federal Hate Crime Charges

Arizona state courts prosecute hate crimes harshly. However, hate crimes are also federal offenses. That means it’s also possible that your charges could attract the interest of the United States government. 

Federal prosecutors tend to get involved in extremely serious hate crimes that target multiple parties. For example, if you’re accused of a mass shooting at a mosque, it’s likely that you may face charges in federal court. 

What are the Penalties for Hate Crimes in Phoenix, Arizona? 

The penalties for a hate crime conviction can vary widely. The exact punishment you’ll face will depend on the nature of the underlying criminal offense. 

Every crime in Arizona has a sentencing range. Minimum sentences may be ordered in cases involving mitigating factors. On the other hand, a judge can use aggravating factors to impose the harshest sentence available. The fact that you committed the crime because of “hate” or “bias” toward a particular group is a factor that can be used to impose an enhanced sentence.

In other words, you could face additional jail time and steeper financial penalties if you’re convicted of a crime motivated by hate or bias.

For example, assault in Maricopa County can be either a misdemeanor or felony. If the evidence shows that you assaulted another person because of bias, the prosecution may push for more serious felony charges. 

In any case involving a hate crime, you could face penalties that include:

  • Years in prison
  • Monetary penalties
  • Restitution 
  • Counseling, education, or anger management courses
  • Probation or parole
  • Community service to benefit members of the group involved
  • Sex offender registration in cases involving sex crimes

A hate crime conviction can also carry serious collateral consequences. Many hate crime trials receive heightened media attention. Your friends and neighbors may learn about the charges before you’re even given a chance to defend yourself in court. 

If convicted on hate crime charges, possible collateral consequences may include:

  • Loss of child custody or visitation rights
  • Damage to your professional reputation
  • Loss of your job
  • Damage to personal relationships
  • General social stigma
  • Problems finding suitable housing or employment
  • Gun ownership rights, if you’re convicted of a felony hate crime
  • A permanent criminal record

Don’t take the situation lightly if you’ve been accused of a hate crime. Even if the prosecution hasn’t charged you with a crime, it’s important to seek legal representation immediately. An experienced Phoenix hate crimes defense attorney can make a world of difference in your case.

To learn more about how we can build the strong legal defense you need, call Orent Law Offices to schedule a free initial consultation today.

What Defenses Can Be Raised if I’m Accused of a Hate Crime in Phoenix, AZ? 

Hate crimes generate a lot of attention. You should expect the prosecution to throw everything they have into finding evidence to support the charges. The only way to beat hate crime or bias crime charges is to launch a strong criminal defense.

At Orent Law Offices, we know the types of defenses that can be effective in cases involving hate crimes. You can count on us to do everything possible to launch the most aggressive legal defense possible.

Examples of defenses that may be relevant to your case include:

  • Lack of evidence to support the underlying criminal charges
  • Evidence to show that you didn’t commit the alleged acts because of bias toward a protected group
  • Evidence to support actual innocence, including mistaken identity and alibi defenses
  • Challenges to witness credibility
  • False allegations

The “hate crime” designation depends completely on your state of mind. Our lawyers will make it as difficult as possible for the prosecution to prove you intended to target a member of a protected group.

On the other hand, the prosecution doesn’t have to prove that the victim was actually a member of the protected group. It’s enough to show that you believed the victim identified with the targeted group.

If you’ve been accused of committing a hate crime, expect that Arizona state prosecutors are already collecting evidence from law enforcement and witnesses. It’s important for you to take legal action quickly. Our lawyers at Orent Law Offices are ready to go to work immediately. All you have to do is call to schedule a free case review today.

Schedule a Free Consultation With a Phoenix Hate Crimes Attorney

If you were arrested or charged with a hate crime, contact an experienced Phoenix hate crimes attorney today. Our skilled lawyers at Orent Law Offices will do everything we can to defend your legal rights.

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Orent Law Offices Phoenix Criminal Defense Law Firm