Hate crimes are crimes motivated by racial, sexual, or other prejudice, typically involving violence. Some gang cases can be charged as hate crimes, and speech alone may be the basis for hate crimes. Under certain circumstances, misdemeanors can sometimes be elevated to hate crime felonies, as can seemingly straightforward crimes against property. Vandalism, hate symbols, cross burning, disorderly conduct at a religious service and terrorism can be hate crimes. Even obstructing the exercise of religion can be a hate crime. This presentation looks at hate crimes, the penal codes associated with them, and how hate crimes are investigated and prosecuted.
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