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Louisiana criminal defense: Charged with a hate crime?

Just like employers can get into a lot of trouble for discriminating against employees or allowing discrimination and harassment in the workplace, the average Joe can get into a lot of trouble for purposely discriminating against anyone at any time. Hate crimes are commonly seen in the state of Louisiana and elsewhere. Those accused of these crimes may face some serious consequences if they are convicted. A criminal defense attorney may be able to assist anyone facing hate crime charges with navigating court proceedings and doing all that is necessary to seek favorable outcomes.

What exactly is a hate crime? This is any harmful act committed against a person based on his or her gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or disability -- among various other things. The state of Louisiana also prohibits attacks on individuals who are employed as firefighters, police officers and emergency medical responders.

The list of crimes that may be considered hate crimes is lengthy and cannot all be listed here. They may be charged as felony or misdemeanor offenses, depending on the facts of one's case. A few examples include:

  • Murder
  • Aggravated assault
  • Sexual assault
  • Indecent behavior
  • Property damage
  • Theft
  • Desecration of graves
  • Arson

In short, many crimes can be considered hate crimes. In order for Louisiana residents to be convicted for this type of charge, prosecuting attorneys have to be able to prove action and intent. Did the accused commit the act, and did he or she do it to purposely harm the victim based on one of the qualifying discriminatory factors? A criminal defense attorney will work diligently to either poke holes in the prosecuting attorney's case in an effort to achieve a dismissal of charges or take other actions to help the accused seek the best outcome possible under the circumstances.

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