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Seasoned New York Lawyers Defend People Charged with Hate Crimes

Focused Manhattan defense attorneys fight claims of bias-motivated offenses

Any offense that is classified as a hate crime in New York carries harsher penalties than the same type of offense that is not motivated by hate. The attorneys at Tacopina, Seigel & DeOreo handle hate crime cases in courts throughout the state. We have obtained exonerations, dismissals and favorable plea deals for defendants in felony and misdemeanor cases. We advise each client with careful, personal attention even amid the public interest and media attention that often come with hate crime charges.

Dedicated lawyers fight prosecutors who allege racial motives for crimes

An offense can be designated as a hate crime in New York if it was substantially or wholly motivated by the target’s race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, religious practice, gender, transgender status, sexual orientation, age or disability. It does not matter whether the protected characteristic is actual or only perceived. The target of a hate crime may be an individual, a group of people, a community or a structure, such as home, business or religious establishment.

Certain specified offenses can be prosecuted as hate crimes in New York, among them:

  • Assault of any degree
  • Aggravated assault upon a person less than 11 years old
  • Arson
  • Menacing
  • Criminal mischief
  • Reckless endangerment
  • Unlawful imprisonment
  • Kidnapping
  • Coercion
  • Criminal trespass
  • Burglary
  • Robbery
  • Larceny
  • Stalking
  • Strangulation
  • Manslaughter
  • First-degree rape
  • First-degree criminal sexual act
  • First-degree sexual abuse
  • First-degree harassment
  • Aggravated sexual abuse
  • Second-degree murder
  • Second-degree aggravated harassment

Our team of accomplished criminal law attorneys aggressively oppose prosecutors’ attempts to treat traditional offenses as hate crimes. Among other defenses, we challenge the element of motivation, which must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

Skilled New York City defenders argue to have charges dropped and reduced

Conviction of a defense that is deemed a hate crimes carries enhanced penalties under the New York Penal Code as follows:

  • Misdemeanor or a class C, D or E felony — A conviction of committing a hate crime that is usually classified as one of these offenses will raise the punishment to that for an offense one category higher. For example, a class D felony offense that is convicted as a hate crime will be sentenced as a class C felony.
  • Class B felony — When the original offense is classified as a class B felony, a hate crime conviction will come with a minimum prison sentence of several years, with the length of the prison term depending on the specific type of crime.
  • Class A-1 felony — When a class A-1 felony charge results in a hate crime conviction, the defendant will receive a minimum prison sentence of 20 years.

Courts can impose additional penalties when sentencing hate crime convictions, including mandatory counseling or education.

In defending clients who are accused of hate crimes, our defense may involve collecting witness testimony, surveillance footage and recordings, as well as documentation of the defendant’s past actions that can help to deflate the prosecutor’s claim that hate was a motivating factor.

Contact respected New York criminal defense lawyers for help fighting hate crime charges

The attorneys at Tacopina, Seigel & DeOreo in New York City defend clients accused of committing violent and non-violent hate crimes in New York. Our headquarters are in the heart of Manhattan, near Grand Central Station. To schedule a free consultation, call 212-227-8877 or contact us online.