Hate Crime Laws (States from A Through L)

Selected Hate Crime Laws in Various States

Alabama

Section 13A-5-13 - Crimes motivated by victim's race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity or physical or mental disability.
(a) The Legislature finds and declares the following:

(1) It is the right of every person, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, or physical or mental disability, to be secure and protected from threats of reasonable fear, intimidation, harassment, and physical harm caused by activities of groups and individuals.
(2) It is not the intent, by enactment of this section, to interfere with the exercise of rights protected by the Constitution of the State of Alabama or the United States.
(3) The intentional advocacy of unlawful acts by groups or individuals against other persons or groups and bodily injury or death to persons is not constitutionally protected when violence or civil disorder is imminent, and poses a threat to public order and safety, and such conduct should be subjected to criminal sanctions.

(b) The purpose of this section is to impose additional penalties where it is shown that a perpetrator committing the underlying offense was motivated by the victim's actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, or physical or mental disability.
(c) A person who has been found guilty of a crime, the commission of which was shown beyond a reasonable doubt to have been motivated by the victim's actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, or physical or mental disability, shall be punished as follows:

(1) Felonies:

a. On conviction of a Class A felony that was found to have been motivated by the victim's actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, or physical or mental disability, the entence shall not be less than 15 years.
b. On conviction of a Class B felony that was found to have been motivated by the victim's actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, or physical or mental disability, the sentence shall not be less than 10 years.
c. On conviction of a Class C felony that was found to have been motivated by the victim's actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, or physical or mental disability, the sentence shall not be less than two years.
d. For purposes of this subdivision, a criminal defendant who has been previously convicted of any felony and receives an enhanced sentence pursuant to this section is also subject to enhanced punishment under the Alabama Habitual Felony Offender Act, Section 13A-5-9.


(2) Misdemeanors:
On conviction of a misdemeanor which was found beyond a reasonable doubt to have been motivated by the victim's actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, or physical or mental disability, the defendant shall be sentenced for a Class A misdemeanor, except that the defendant shall be sentenced to a minimum of three months.
(Acts 1994, No. 94-581, §§1-3.)

Alaska

Penalty Enhancement

AS 12.55.155. Factors in Aggravation and Mitigation.

(a) Except as provided in (e) of this section, if a defendant is convicted of an offense and is subject to sentencing under AS 12.55.125 (c), (d), (e), or (i) and

(1) the low end of the presumptive range is four years or less, the court may impose any sentence below the presumptive range for factors in mitigation or may increase the active term of imprisonment up to the maximum term of imprisonment for factors in aggravation;

(2) the low end of the presumptive range is more than four years, the court may impose a sentence below the presumptive range as long as the active term of imprisonment is not less than 50 percent of the low end of the presumptive range for factors in mitigation or may increase the active term of imprisonment up to the maximum term of imprisonment for factors in aggravation.

(b) Sentences under this section that are outside of the presumptive ranges set out in AS 12.55.125 shall be based on the totality of the aggravating and mitigating factors set out in (c) and (d) of this section.

(c) The following factors shall be considered by the sentencing court if proven in accordance with this section, and may allow imposition of a sentence above the presumptive range set out in AS 12.55.125:

(22) the defendant knowingly directed the conduct constituting the offense at a victim because of that person's race, sex, color, creed, physical or mental disability, ancestry, or national origin;

Arizona

Stat. 13-701 (D) 15

For the purpose of determining the sentence pursuant to subsection C of this section, the trier of fact shall determine and the court shall consider the following aggravating circumstances, except that the court shall determine an aggravating circumstance under paragraph 11 of this subsection:

15. Evidence that the defendant committed the crime out of malice toward a victim because of the victim's identity in a group listed in section 41-1750, subsection A, paragraph 3 or because of the defendant's perception of the victim's identity in a group listed in section 41-1750, subsection A, paragraph 3.

[Covers Criminal offenses that manifest evidence of prejudice based on race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender or disability.]

Arkansas

(None)

California

PENAL CODE-SECTION 422.6

(a) No person, whether or not acting under color of law, shall by force or threat of force, willfully injure, intimidate, interfere with, oppress, or threaten any other person in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him or her by the Constitution or laws of this state or by the Constitution or laws of the United States because of the other person’s race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, gender, or sexual orientation, or because he or she perceives that the other person has one or more of those characteristics.
(b) No person, whether or not acting under color of law, shall knowingly deface, damage, or destroy the real or personal property of any other person for the purpose of intimidating or interfering with the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to the other person by the Constitution or laws of this state or by the Constitution or laws of the United States, because of the other person’s race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, gender, or sexual orientation, or because he or she perceives that the other person has one or more of those characteristics.
(c) Any person convicted of violating subdivision (a) or (b) shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year, or by a fine not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine, and the court shall order the defendant to perform a minimum of community service, not to exceed 400 hours, to be performed over a period not to exceed 350 days, during a time other than his or her hours of employment or school attendance. However, no person shall be convicted of violating subdivision (a) based upon speech alone, except upon a showing that the speech itself threatened violence against a specific person or group of persons and that the defendant had the apparent ability to carry out the threat.

422.75

(a) Except in the case of a person punished under Section 422.7, a person who commits a felony that is a hate crime or attempts to commit a felony that is a hate crime, shall receive an additional term of one, two, or three years in the state prison, at the court's discretion.
(b) Except in the case of a person punished under Section 422.7 or subdivision (a) of this section, any person who commits a felony that is a hate crime, or attempts to commit a felony that is a hate crime, and who voluntarily acted in concert with another person, either personally or by aiding and abetting another person, shall
receive an additional two, three, or four years in the state prison, at the court's discretion.
(c) For the purpose of imposing an additional term under subdivision (a) or (b), it shall be a factor in aggravation that the defendant personally used a firearm in the commission of the offense. Nothing in this subdivision shall preclude a court from also imposing a sentence enhancement pursuant to Section 12022.5, 12022.53, or 12022.55, or any other law.
(d) A person who is punished pursuant to this section also shall receive an additional term of one year in the state prison for each prior felony conviction on charges brought and tried separately in which it was found by the trier of fact or admitted by the defendant that the crime was a hate crime. This additional term shall only apply where a sentence enhancement is not imposed pursuant to Section 667 or 667.5.
(e) Any additional term authorized by this section shall not be imposed unless the allegation is charged in the accusatory pleading and admitted by the defendant or found to be true by the trier of fact.
(f) Any additional term imposed pursuant to this section shall be in addition to any other punishment provided by law.
(g) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the court may strike any additional term imposed by this section if the court determines that there are mitigating circumstances and states on the record the reasons for striking the additional punishment.

Colorado

C.R.S. 18-9-121 (2008)

18-9-121. Bias-motivated crimes

(1) The general assembly hereby finds and declares that it is the right of every person, regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability, or sexual rientation to be secure and protected from fear, intimidation, harassment, and physical harm caused by the activities of individuals and groups. The general assembly further finds that the advocacy of unlawful acts against persons or groups because of a person's or group's race, color, ancestry, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability, or sexual orientation for the purpose of inciting and provoking bodily injury or damage to property poses a threat to public order and safety and should be subject to criminal sanctions.
(2) A person commits a bias-motivated crime if, with the intent to intimidate or harass another person because of that person's actual or perceived race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, physical or mental disability, or sexual orientation, he or she:

(a) Knowingly causes bodily injury to another person; or
(b) By words or conduct, knowingly places another person in fear of imminent lawless action directed at that person or that person's property and such words or conduct are likely to produce bodily injury to that person or damage to that person's property; or
(c) Knowingly causes damage to or destruction of the property of another person.

(3) Commission of a bias-motivated crime as described in paragraph (b) or (c) of subsection (2) of this section is a class 1 misdemeanor. Commission of a bias-motivated crime as described in paragraph (a) of subsection (2) of this section is a class 5 felony; except that commission of a bias-motivated crime as described in said paragraph (a) is a class 4 felony if the offender is physically aided or abetted by one or more other persons during the commission of the offense.
(3.5)

(a) In determining the sentence for a first-time offender convicted of a bias-motivated crime, the court shall consider the following alternatives, which shall be in addition to and not in lieu of any other sentence received by the offender:

(I) Sentencing the offender to pay for and complete a period of useful community service intended to benefit the public and enhance the offender's understanding of the impact of the offense upon the victim;
(II) At the request of the victim, referring the case to a restorative justice or other suitable alternative dispute resolution program established in the judicial district pursuant to section 13-22-313, C.R.S.


(b) In considering whether to impose the alternatives described in paragraph (a) of this subsection (3.5), the court shall consider the criminal history of the offender, the impact of the offense on the victim, the availability of the alternatives, and the nature of the offense. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require the court to impose the alternatives specified in paragraph (a) of this subsection (3.5).

(4) The criminal penalty provided in this section for commission of a bias-motivated crime does not preclude the victim of such action from seeking any other remedies otherwise available under law.
(5) For purposes of this section:

(a) "Physical or mental disability" refers to a disability as used in the definition of the term "person with a disability" in section 18-6.5-102 (3).
(b) "Sexual orientation" means a person's actual or perceived orientation toward heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, or transgender status.

Connecticut

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-181j (2008)

Sec. 53a-181j. Intimidation based on bigotry or bias in the first degree: Class C felony.

(a) A person is guilty of intimidation based on bigotry or bias in the first degree when such person maliciously, and with specific intent to intimidate or harass another person because of the actual or perceived race, religion, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression of such other person, causes serious physical injury to such other person or to a third person.
(b) Intimidation based on bigotry or bias in the first degree is a class C felony.

District of Columbia

D.C. Code § 22-3701 (2009)

§ 22-3701. Definitions [Formerly § 22-4001]


For the purposes of this chapter, the term:
(1) "Bias-related crime" means a designated act that demonstrates an accused's prejudice based on the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, family responsibility, physical disability, matriculation, or political affiliation of a victim of the subject designated act.
(2) "Designated act" means a criminal act, including arson, assault, burglary, injury to property, kidnapping, manslaughter, murder, rape, robbery, theft, or unlawful entry, and attempting, aiding, abetting, advising, inciting, conniving, or conspiring to commit arson, assault, burglary, injury to property, kidnapping, manslaughter, murder, rape, robbery, theft, or unlawful entry.
(3) "Gender identity or expression" shall have the same meaning as provided in § 2-1401.02(12A).

Delaware

11 Del. C. § 1304 (2009)

§ 1304. Hate crimes; class A misdemeanor, class G felony, class F felony, class E felony, class D felony, class C felony, class B felony, class A felony

(a) Any person who commits, or attempts to commit, any crime as defined by the laws of this State, and who intentionally:
(1) Commits said crime for the purpose of interfering with the victim's free exercise or enjoyment of any right, privilege or immunity protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, or commits said crime because the victim has exercised or enjoyed said rights; or
(2) Selects the victim because of the victim's race, religion, color, disability, sexual orientation, national origin or ancestry, shall be guilty of a hate crime. For purposes of this section, the term "sexual orientation" means heterosexuality, bisexuality, or homosexuality.
(b) Hate crimes shall be punished as follows:
(1) If the underlying offense is a violation or unclassified misdemeanor, the hate crime shall be a class A misdemeanor;
(2) If the underlying offense is a class A, B, or C misdemeanor, the hate crime shall be a class G felony;
(3) If the underlying offense is a class C, D, E, F, or G felony, the hate crime shall be one grade higher than the underlying offense;
(4) If the underlying offense is a class A or B felony, the hate crime shall be the same grade as the underlying offense, and the minimum sentence of imprisonment required for the underlying offense shall be doubled.

Florida

775.085 Evidencing prejudice while committing offense; reclassification.

(1)

(a) The penalty for any felony or misdemeanor shall be reclassified as provided in this subsection if the commission of such felony or misdemeanor evidences prejudice based on the race, color, ancestry, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, mental or physical disability, or advanced age of the victim:

1. A misdemeanor of the second degree is reclassified to a misdemeanor of the first degree.
2. A misdemeanor of the first degree is reclassified to a felony of the third degree.
3. A felony of the third degree is reclassified to a felony of the second degree.
4. A felony of the second degree is reclassified to a felony of the first degree.
5. A felony of the first degree is reclassified to a life felony.

(b) As used in paragraph (a), the term:

1. "Mental or physical disability" means that the victim suffers from a condition of physical or mental incapacitation due to a developmental disability, organic brain damage, or mental illness, and has one or more physical or mental limitations that restrict the victim's ability to perform the normal activities of daily living.
2. "Advanced age" means that the victim is older than 65 years of age.
(2) A person or organization that establishes by clear and convincing evidence that it has been coerced, intimidated, or threatened in violation of this section has a civil cause of action for treble damages, an injunction, or any other appropriate relief in law or in equity. Upon prevailing in such civil action, the plaintiff may recover reasonable attorney's fees and costs.
(3) It is an essential element of this section that the record reflect that the defendant perceived, knew, or had reasonable grounds to know or perceive that the victim was within the class delineated in this section.

History.--s. 1, ch. 89-133; s. 1, ch. 91-83; s. 1, ch. 98-83; s. 1, ch. 99-172.

Georgia

(None)

Hawaii

HRS § 846-51 (2009)

§ 846-51. Definitions.

As used in this part, the following terms have the following meanings:
"Gender identity or expression" includes a person's actual or perceived gender, as well as a person's gender identity, gender-related self image, gender-related appearance, or gender-related expression; regardless of whether that gender identity, gender-related self image, gender-related appearance, or gender-related expression is different from that traditionally associated with the person's sex at birth.
"Hate crime" means any criminal act in which the perpetrator intentionally selected a victim, or in the case of a property crime, the property that was the object of a crime, because of hostility toward the actual or perceived race, religion, disability, ethnicity, national origin, gender identity or expression, or sexual orientation of any person.
"Hate crime data" means information, incident reports, records, and statistics relating to hate crimes, collected by the attorney general.
"Incident report" means an account of occurrence of a hate crime received or collected by the attorney general.
"Sexual orientation" means:
(1) Having a preference for heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality;
(2) Having a history of any one or more of these preferences; or
(3) Being identified with any one or more of these preferences.

Idaho

Idaho Code § 18-7902 (2008)

§ 18-7902. Malicious harassment defined -- Prohibited

It shall be unlawful for any person, maliciously and with the specific intent to intimidate or harass another person because of that person's race, color, religion, ancestry, or national origin, to:
(a) Cause physical injury to another person; or
(b) Damage, destroy, or deface any real or personal property of another person; or
(c) Threaten, by word or act, to do the acts prohibited if there is reasonable cause to believe that any of the acts described in subsections (a) and (b) of this section will occur.
 
 For purposes of this section, "deface" shall include, but not be limited to, cross-burnings or the placing of any word or symbol commonly associated with racial, religious or ethnic terrorism on the property of another person without his or her permission.

Iowa

Iowa Code § 729A.2 (2008)

729A.2 Violation of individual rights -- hate crime.

"Hate crime" means one of the following public offenses when committed against a person or a person's property because of the person's race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, political affiliation, sex, sexual orientation, age, or disability, or the person's association with a person of a certain race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, political affiliation, sex, sexual orientation, age, or disability:
1. Assault in violation of individual rights under section 708.2C.
2. Violations of individual rights under section 712.9.
3. Criminal mischief in violation of individual rights under section 716.6A.
4. Trespass in violation of individual rights under section 716.8, subsections 3 and 4.

llinois

CHAPTER 720. CRIMINAL OFFENSES-CRIMINAL CODE

720 ILCS 5/12-7.1. Hate crime
Sec. 12-7.1. Hate crime.

(a) A person commits hate crime when, by reason of the actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, or national origin of another individual or group of individuals, he commits assault, battery, aggravated assault, misdemeanor theft, criminal trespass to residence, misdemeanor criminal damage to property, criminal trespass to vehicle, criminal trespass to real property, mob action or disorderly conduct as these crimes are defined in Sections 12-1, 12-2, 12-3, 16-1, 19-4, 21-1, 21-2, 21-3, 25-1, and 26-1 of this Code [720 ILCS 5/12-1, 720 ILCS 5/12-2, 720 ILCS 5/12-3, 720 ILCS 5/16-1, 720 ILCS 5/19-4, 720 ILCS 5/21-1, 720 ILCS 5/21-2, 720 ILCS 5/21-3, 720 ILCS 5/25-1, and 720 ILCS 5/26-1], respectively, or harassment by telephone as defined in Section 1-1 of the Harassing and Obscene Communications Act [720 ILCS 135/1-1] against a victim who is: (i) the other individual; (ii) a member of the group of individuals; (iii) a person who has an association with, is married to, or has a friendship with the other individual or a member of the group of individuals; or (iv) a relative (by blood or marriage) of a person described in clause (i), (ii), or (iii).
(b) Hate crime is a Class 4 felony for a first offense and a Class 2 felony for a second or subsequent offense. Any order of probation or conditional discharge entered following a conviction for an offense under this Section shall include, a condition that the offender perform public or community service of no less than 200 hours if that service is established in the county where the offender was convicted of hate crime. In addition the court may impose any other condition of probation or conditional discharge under this Section.
(c) Independent of any criminal prosecution or the result thereof, any person suffering injury to his person or damage to his property as a result of hate crime may bring a civil action for damages, injunction or other appropriate relief. The court may award actual damages, including damages for emotional distress, or punitive damages. A judgment may include attorney’s fees and costs. The parents or legal guardians, other than guardians appointed pursuant to the Juvenile Court Act [repealed] or the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 [705 ILCS 405/1-1 et seq.], of an unemancipated minor shall be liable for the amount of any judgment for actual damages rendered against such minor under this subsection (c) in any amount not exceeding the amount provided under Section 5 of the Parental Responsibility Law [740 ILCS 115/5].
(d) “Sexual orientation” means heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality.

Kansas

K.S.A. § 21-4716 (2008)

21-4716. Imposition of presumptive sentence; jury requirements; departure sentencing; substantial and compelling reasons for departure; mitigating and aggravating factors.

(a) Except as provided in subsection (b), the sentencing judge shall impose the presumptive sentence provided by the sentencing guidelines for crimes committed on or after July 1, 1993, unless the judge finds substantial and compelling reasons to impose a departure. If the sentencing judge departs from the presumptive sentence, the judge shall state on the record at the time of sentencing the substantial and compelling reasons for the departure.
(b) Subject to the provisions of subsection (b) of K.S.A. 21-4718, and amendments thereto, any fact that would increase the penalty for a crime beyond the statutory maximum, other than a prior conviction, shall be submitted to a jury and proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
(c) (1) Subject to the provisions of subsections (c)(3) and (e), the following nonexclusive list of mitigating factors may be considered in determining whether substantial and compelling reasons for a departure exist:

(C) The offense was motivated entirely or in part by the race, color, religion, ethnicity, national origin or sexual orientation of the victim or the offense was motivated by the defendant's belief or perception, entirely or in part, of the race, color, religion, ethnicity, national origin or sexual orientation of the victim whether or not the defendant's belief or perception was correct.

Kentucky

KRS § 532.031 (2009)

532.031. Hate crimes -- Finding -- Effect.

(1) A person may be found by the sentencing judge to have committed an offense specified below as a result of a hate crime if the person intentionally because of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, or national origin of another individual or group of individuals violates a provision of any one (1) of the following:
(a) KRS 508.010, 508.020, 508.025, or 508.030;
(b) KRS 508.050 or 508.060;
(c) KRS 508.100 or 508.110;
(d) KRS 509.020;
(e) KRS 510.040, 510.050, 510.060, 510.070, 510.080, 510.090, 510.100, or 510.110;
(f) KRS 512.020, 512.050, or 512.060;
(g) KRS 513.020, 513.030, or 513.040; or
(h) KRS 525.020, 525.050, 525.060, 525.070, or 525.080.
(2) At sentencing, the sentencing judge shall determine if, by a preponderance of the evidence presented at the trial, a hate crime was a primary factor in the commission of the crime by the defendant. If so, the judge shall make a written finding of fact and enter that in the court record and in the judgment rendered against the defendant.
(3) The finding that a hate crime was a primary factor in the commission of the crime by the defendant may be utilized by the sentencing judge as the sole factor for denial of probation, shock probation, conditional discharge, or other form of nonimposition of a sentence of incarceration.
(4) The finding by the sentencing judge that a hate crime was a primary factor in the commission of the crime by the defendant may be utilized by the Parole Board in delaying or denying parole to a defendant.

Louisiana

La. R.S. 14:107.2 (2009)

§ 14:107.2. Hate crimes

A. It shall be unlawful for any person to select the victim of the following offenses against person and property because of actual or perceived race, age, gender, religion, color, creed, disability, sexual orientation, national origin, or ancestry of that person or the owner or occupant of that property or because of actual or perceived membership or service in, or employment with, an organization: first or second degree murder; manslaughter; battery; aggravated battery; second degree battery; aggravated assault with a firearm; terrorizing; mingling harmful substances; simple, forcible, or aggravated rape; sexual battery, second degree sexual battery; oral sexual battery; carnal knowledge of a juvenile; indecent behavior with juveniles; molestation of a juvenile; simple, second degree, or aggravated kidnapping; simple or aggravated arson; placing combustible materials; communicating of false information of planned arson; simple or aggravated criminal damage to property; contamination of water supplies; simple or aggravated burglary; criminal trespass; simple, first degree, or armed robbery; purse snatching; extortion; theft; desecration of graves; institutional vandalism; or assault by drive-by shooting.
B. If the underlying offense named in Subsection A of this Section is a misdemeanor, and the victim of the offense listed in Subsection A of this Section is selected in the manner proscribed by that Subsection, the offender may be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both. This sentence shall run consecutively to the sentence for the underlying offense.
C. If the underlying offense named in Subsection A of this Section is a felony, and the victim of the offense listed in Subsection A of this Section is selected in the manner proscribed by that Subsection, the offender may be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned with or without hard labor for not more than five years, or both. This sentence shall run consecutively to the sentence for the underlying offense.
D. "Organization", as used in this Section, means all of the following:
(1) Any lawful corporation, trust, company, partnership, association, foundation, or fund.
(2) Any lawful group of persons, whether or not incorporated, banded together for joint action on any subject or subjects.
(3) Any entity or unit of federal, state, or local government.