Recent studies show that hate crimes in Chicago have increased by 20% between 2015 and 2016. New police data show that hate crimes are at a five-year high and have outpaced previous years. In fact, data show that since the last election, the number of victims of hate crimes has increased. People are treated differently, and the social dynamics of the city are shifting. Most hate crimes reported in the city have historically been toward gay men and blacks, but now they are increasingly toward Arabs, Muslims, and Hispanics. News reports continue show videos of city dwellers confronting women and men for wearing shirts that support other nations, other religions, and other races.
What Constitutes a Hate Crime?
Legally, hate crimes are any crimes motivated by some form of bias. Hate crimes are violent acts that target groups or individuals based on an identifier such as nationality, race, sexual orientation, or religion. Someone can be charged with committing a hate crime when he or she acts violently against a religious establishment or house of worship based solely on the nature of that institution. Expert attorneys know the latest changes that Illinois lawmakers have put into effect regarding these violent crimes.
Prosecuting these crimes requires two steps. First, it must be proven that the defendant committed the offense. Second, it must be proven that the defendant acted maliciously based solely on the identifying characteristics of that group or person. In other words, the prosecution must prove not only that someone committed a violent crime, but that they did so because of race, religion, nationality, etc.
Hate crimes bring with them a social stigma and are regarded as one of the more severe crimes. Everyone, nonetheless, is entitled to the best possible defense, and therefore, it is critical to find an attorney who will protect the rights of every person, including the person charged. The prosecution often zealously pursues hate crimes and penalties for those charged with hate crimes are severe.
Why You Need a Seasoned Attorney
With so many crimes happening every day, and so many nuances in the law, it is best to have an expert attorney by your side to help you when you need to prepare against a hate crime charge or litigate when you are the victim of a hate crime. If you have been involved in a hate crime, you want someone who will work with you, learn the ins and outs of your case, and make sure you are treated fairly regardless of what took place. You want someone who will advocate for you aggressively no matter the circumstances and examine each piece of key evidence brought to court. Do not settle for anything less when freedom and personal rights are on the line.
Our team of high-end attorneys is familiar with the nuances of hate crime litigation and more. Do not rely on someone recommended by your friend or an ad you saw on television. Work with a professional who understands the ins and outs of Chicago law, who specializes in hate crime litigation, and knows the lay of the land. We work hard to prepare your case to get you the best possible outcome.
Whether you need help defending yourself, or you want justice after the fact, we are here to help with hate crimes in Chicago. David Freidberg can provide fast and easy consultations to determine how best to lend a legal hand. Contact us today at (312) 560-7100 to schedule your consultation.
(image courtesy of alyssa-kibiloski)