Orange County Hate Crime Lawyer

Arrested for a hate crime? Protect your reputation.

We live in a society that likes to politicize every word and action and turn harmless events into spectacles that perpetuate agendas. Unfortunately, this means that it is easier than ever to be wrongfully accused of a hate crime. Such a conviction can tarnish your reputation throughout your social and professional life. The consequences of a hate crime conviction can be unsurmountable, so it is essential to have a legal advocate who can fight for you.

At The Law Office of Barney B. Gibbs, our Anaheim criminal defense attorneys have been representing clients in local courts for more than 30 years. Attorney Gibbs has faced more than 2,500 criminal defense charge and has seen over 1,100 dismissals. He limits the number of cases that he accepts in an effort to ensuring that he can dedicate his time, effort, and personalized legal counsel to each client. Our firm is ready to protect your rights.

What is considered a hate crime?

A hate crime is defined as a criminal activity that was motivated by the victim's gender, skin color, religious affiliation, nationality, sexual orientation, disability, or other identification factors. While US citizens have the right to freedom of speech, generally any speech that holds a threat to an individual or group's safety or well-being based upon the aforementioned factors can be considered a hate crime. California law holds strict definitions and penalties on hate crimes.

Penal Code § 594.3: This statute makes it illegal to vandalize a place of worship because of a racial or religious bias. Vandalism can include anything that defaces or damages that property. This is a felony.

Penal Code § 11413: This statute makes it illegal to use an explosive or other destructive device in certain protected places. This is a felony.

Penal Code § 422.6: It is illegal to use force or threatening to destroy property in a way that would interfere with another person's civil rights. This is a misdemeanor.

The Bane Act: This act protects people from threats and intimidation because of their religious, sexual, ethnic and other orientations. Violating the Bane Act is illegal according to penal code § 422.9. This is a misdemeanor.

Enhancements of Criminal Offenses

Hate crimes are rarely individual. In most cases, an individual was charged with a different criminal offense that was motivated by hatred. In these cases, the punishments relating to the specific crime will likely be enhanced as a hate crime. For example, a murder charge holds severe punishments as is, but if it is found that the alleged murder was motivated by an individual's identity, the court will impose harsher sentencing.

The following laws describe specific sentencing enhancements:

Penal Code § 190.3: Sentencing for a crime could be enhanced to "life without the possibility of parole" when the motivation was sexual orientation, gender or disability bias.

Penal Code § 422.75: If a felony offense is committed because of hatred or bias, the sentencing for that felony can be enhanced by one to three years in prison.

While your legal sentencing may be serious, even the least severe penalties can have devastating implications on your reputation. In today's society, many seek to separate themselves from the stigma of hate crimes, which means that facing charges may result in difficulties maintaining your personal relationship. Furthermore, you may even lose your job as your employer aims to protect its own reputation. Don't let a hate crime define you; let our team of legal professionals fight for you.

Hire an AV Rated® Law Firm

At The Law Office of Barney B. Gibbs, the success of our Anaheim criminal attorneys is recognized by both peers and clients alike. When you come to our firm, you can feel confident knowing that we have the experience and resources that you need to face your charges head on. We will be in your corner every step of the way to ensure that your rights are protected and your reputation remains intact. We are proud to provide aggressive and competent criminal defense services to all of our clients and are prepared to represent you.

Your initial consultation is free; contact us today!