What is a Bias Crime in Arizona?

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What is a Bias Crime in Arizona?

Crimes are committed every day for a multitude of reasons. Some are premeditated, some are crimes of passion committed in the moment, and others are crimes of bias. Todd Coolidge is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist. He’s defended cases involving every form of motivation, including bias crime in Arizona, and his experience sets him apart from others in the field.

What is a Bias Crime?

At the end of every year, law enforcement agencies in Arizona are required to report bias crimes to the FBI. Often, jurisdictions are late in filing or fail to file in this category at all. But according to the City of Phoenix website, in 2017 there were 230 incidents of bias crime reported in Phoenix alone.

So what exactly is a bias crime? Here is what US Legal has to say: “Bias crime is a criminal offense that is committed against a person, property, group of people, or society, motivated in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias against a religion, race, disability, sexual orientation, or national origin. A bias crime is often referred to as a hate crime. A bias crime is committed pursuant to the perpetrator’s bias against the group to which the victim belongs.”

In other words, a bias crime is a hate crime.

Prominent examples of hate crimes include vandalism, sexual assault, theft, intimidation, property destruction, and robbery. The number one motivation for bias crime in Arizona is race, followed by sexual orientation.

Do I Need A Criminal Law Specialist if I’ve Been Charged With a Bias Crime in Arizona?

Bias crimes are taken seriously in our state. Arizona statute A.R.S. 13-701D15 indicates that any felony can be classified a hate crime if it was motivated by malice, and malice is considered an aggravating factor that increases the sentence. Under federal law (18 U.S.C.A. § 249), the sentence for hate crimes can range all the way up to life in prison.

What separates a Certified Criminal Law Specialist from any other criminal defense attorney is knowledge and experience. Todd Coolidge is a proven certified criminal law specialist with over 25 years of experience in Arizona courtrooms. When he approaches any case, he and his team will form your defense based on an intricate understanding of the law and the Arizona judicial system. If you’ve been charged with a bias/hate crime, or with any other criminal charge, call us and we’ll talk. We’re your best defense.


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (3/25/2018) Ted Eytan (Flickr)