Under Maryland law, a hate crime can be charged if a victim was targeted because of the victim’s race, color, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, gender, or national origin, or because another person is homeless, a person may not:
- commit a crime or attempt to commit a crime against another person;
- damage the real or personal property of another person;
- deface, damage, or destroy, or attempt to deface, damage, or destroy the real or personal property of another person;
- burn or attempt to burn an object on the real or personal property of another person; or
- commit a hate crime that involves a separate crime that is a felony or that results in the death of the victim.
A person may not deface, damage, or destroy, attempt to deface, damage, or destroy, burn or attempt to burn an object on, or damage the real or personal property connected to a building that is publicly or privately owned, leased, or used:
- because a person of a particular race, color, religious belief, sexual orientation, gender, or national origin, or because a person or group that is homeless, has contacts or is associated with the building: or
- if there is evidence that exhibits animosity against a person or group due to the race, color, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, gender, or national origin of that group or because that person or group is homeless.
Penalties for Hate Crimes in the State of Maryland
If a violation of these provisions involves a separate felony, the violator is guilty of a felony and is subject to imprisonment for up to 10 years and/or a fine of up to $10,000. If a violation results in the death of the victim, the violator is subject to imprisonment for up to 20 years and/or a fine of up to $20,000. For violations that do not involve a separate felony or do not result in the death of the victim, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor and is subject to imprisonment for up to 3 years and/or a maximum fine of $5,000.
In recent years, the National President of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) has called for federal hate crime laws to include targeted attacks against law enforcement officers. According to FOP’s press release, FOP has advocated for more than 10 years for increased federal penalties against individuals who engage in targeted attacks against police officers.
Attorney for Hate Crimes in Baltimore, Maryland
James Crawford is a criminal defense attorney in Baltimore, MD. He has more than two decades of experience as a trial lawyer defending people against Maryland state charges including misdemeanors and felonies. He represents clients charged with “hate crimes” in Baltimore and across the State of Maryland. He and his team of attorneys are experienced in fighting a wide variety of violent and property crimes.
Along with the other experienced attorneys at James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates, James Crawford understands the tactics used by the law enforcement officers and prosecutors. To protect your reputation and your future then contact an experienced attorney before you talk to police or anyone else about the accusation.
If you have been arrested for any type of violent crimes in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Howard County, Anne Arundel County, Carroll County or Harford County, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. We represent clients charged with a wide range of violent crimes including assault, domestic violence, and child abuse.
Call James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates at 443-709-9999 for a free consultation today.