The New York Times recently reported on data released by city officials concerning the number of reported murders, rapes and robberies in New York. The good news is that the number of these violent crimes is lower now than it was one year ago.
However, the number of reported hate crimes increased by a shocking 64 percent compared with this time just one year ago. The public data indicates that the majority of these hate crimes involved attacks against members of the Jewish community.
Referring to hate crimes, Mayor Bill de Blasio declared at a news conference, “Now that’s an unacceptable reality, and we’re going to fight it with everything we got.”
The Good News – Occurrence of Violent Crimes Down in New York City
Through May of 2019, there were approximately fifteen fewer murders, seven fewer rapes and 453 fewer robberies than at the same time in 2018, according to data maintained by the New York City Police Department. The 2019 data represents a decrease of 12 percent, 1 percent and 8 percent as compared to 2018 data. In addition, the number of reported felony assaults, grand larcenies and car thefts were also on the decline when compared to last year’s data.
Increase in Hate Crimes
The New York City Police Department reported that there were approximately 184 hate crimes in 2019. This represents a 64 percent increase from this point in 2018, when 112 hate crimes were reported. Of the hate crimes reported in 2019, 60 percent were associated with anti-Semitic hate crimes, 10 percent were anti-black hate crimes and 10 percent were anti-gay hate crimes.
What Constitutes a Hate Crime?
According to New York Penal Code § 485.05, a “hate crime” is considered to be a criminal act involving violence, intimidation and destruction of property based upon bias and prejudice. Hate crimes are intentionally inflicted upon victims based on one or more of these characteristics:
- National origin;
- Religion or religious practice;
- Disability; and/or
- Sexual orientation.
If you are convicted of committing a hate crime in New York, you could be looking at a felony offense and multi-year prison term.
Sentencing guidelines for someone convicted of a hate crime in New York State can be found in New York Penal Code § 485.10. They include the following:
- When a defendant is convicted of a hate crime, and the specified offense is a violent felony offense, the hate crime shall be deemed a violent felony offense.
- When a defendant is convicted of a hate crime and the specified offense is a misdemeanor or a Class C, D or E Felony, the hate crime shall be deemed to be one category higher than the specified offense the defendant committed, or one category higher than the offense level applicable to the defendant`s conviction for an attempt or conspiracy to commit a specified offense, whichever is applicable.
As you can see, these guidelines are vague, complicated, and can change depending on the facts of your particular case. This is why it is extremely important to retain the services of an experienced and knowledgeable New York hate crime defense lawyer.
Contact the Bukh Law Firm Today
If you or a loved one is accused of committing a hate crime, contact the Bukh Law Firm today to discuss the crucial facts of your case and potential defense options.
Arkady Bukh is one of the best criminal defense lawyers in the nation and you will have the opportunity to meet with him during a free, confidential consultation.