Covered by NYDaily News. Las Vegas man accused of threatening a prominent attorney and making vile remarks.
Covered by New York Times, and other outlets. Fake heiress accused of conning the city’s wealthy, and has an HBO special being made about her.
Accused of stalking Alec Baldwin. The case garnered nationwide attention, with USAToday, NYPost, and other media outlets following it closely.
Juror who prompted calls for new Ghislaine Maxwell trial turns to lawyer who defended Anna Sorokin.
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In 2022, Netflix released a series about one of Todd’s clients: Anna Delvey/Anna Sorokin.
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A hate crime refers to a traditional offense like assault, arson, or vandalism that is motivated by bias against a victim’s race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability or gender identity. New York has strong laws prohibiting hate crimes and imposing enhanced penalties on perpetrators.
Under New York law, a crime qualifies as a hate crime when:
The victim’s protected characteristic can include race, religion, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Common qualifying offenses include:
So if someone commits one of these offenses and intentionally selects the victim because of their race, religion, etc., it can be charged as a hate crime.
New York imposes heightened penalties on perpetrators convicted of hate crimes including increased jail time and higher fines.
For example, the penalty for a basic misdemeanor assault is up to 1 year in jail. But if that assault is deemed a hate crime, the possible sentence increases to up to 4 years.
Here are some examples of the increased penalties for hate crimes:
|Hate Crime Penalty
|Max 1 year jail
|Up to 4 years jail
|Up to 7 years prison
|Up to 15 years prison
|Up to 25 years prison
|Up to 25 years to life prison
|Up to 1 year jail
|Up to 4 years jail
As the table shows, hate crimes can significantly increase the defendant’s sentencing exposure. Prosecutors also tend to pursue the maximum penalty allowed under the law for hate crimes.
It’s important to report suspected hate crimes to the New York Police Department. You can make a report by:
When making any report, try to provide as much information as possible including details about the perpetrator, names of any witnesses, and the victim’s protected characteristic that motivated the crime.
For a prosecutor to obtain a hate crime conviction, they must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intentionally selected the victim because of their protected characteristic.
Key evidence establishing motive can include:
Without sufficient evidence of motive, the defendant may be convicted of the underlying assault or vandalism charge. But the hate crime penalty enhancement likely won’t apply.
There are various legal defenses that a hate crime lawyer might raise to contest the charges including:
An experienced attorney can evaluate the available evidence and determine the best defense strategy based on the specific facts of your case.
If you are convicted of a hate crime, the judge will impose sentencing including jail, fines and probation based on the enhanced penalty provisions. The conviction will also remain permanently on your criminal record.
Other possible consequences include:
These severe collateral consequences demonstrate why obtaining experienced legal help immediately after an arrest is critical. An attorney may be able to get charges reduced or dismissed or pursue a better plea deal to avoid a hate crime on your record.
Hate crimes that target victims because of their race, sexual orientation or other protected characteristics are taken very seriously in NYC. These offenses carry substantially increased penalties under New York law compared to similar non-bias crimes. Anyone facing prosecution for a suspected hate crime should retain counsel from a criminal defense lawyer as early in the process as possible. An experienced attorney can carefully examine the evidence and apply well-crafted defenses to achieve the best possible outcome.
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