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Can you be charged with a hate crime in Georgia?

| Jun 27, 2019 | Firm News |

Most states have hate crime laws that penalize those who commit acts against others based on their gender, race, sexual preferences or other protected characteristics.

Georgia has no such hate crime laws. That’s why a man who has been convicted of throwing scalding water on a same-sex couple hasn’t been charged with a hate crime by the state.

However, he will go to federal prison for 40 years. The federal government has hate crime laws that make it possible to add to the penalties people already face if they commit a violent crime if that violence is against people in protected groups. Yes, lengthy prison sentences are still possible, but laws specifically aimed at hate crimes would extend those penalties.

Georgia is one of four states that cannot charge you for a hate crime, even if there were some elements of a hate crime involved in your case. This reduces the penalties that you face, even if a conviction is obtained. Keep in mind, however, that you may still face federal hate crime charges, which can result in long prison sentences, fines and additional penalties.

You need to speak with your attorney if you are accused of a crime. They can tell you what kinds of penalties you could face and if you are at a high risk of going to prison for an extended period. Your attorney will work hard to do what they can to prevent a conviction at the federal level. It’s essential to understand the ramifications of the crime you’re accused of, both in state court and in federal court.