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What are the laws and penalties for a hate crime in Louisiana?

A hate crime will automatically elicit a reaction simply by its connotations. When a person in Louisiana is facing charges related to hate crimes, the allegations will be taken seriously and the penalties can be harsh if there is a conviction. One of the most important aspects of these crimes is understanding how the law of the state defines it.

If the victim of certain crimes was selected because of the following factors that are real are perceived, it will be considered a hate crime: age, religious affiliation, skin color, disability, sexual orientation, nationality, ancestry and creed. The crimes are the following: murder in the first or second degree; manslaughter; battery and aggravated battery; carnal relations, indecent relations or molestation of a juvenile; rape; sexual battery; arson; criminal trespassing; armed robbery; extortion; desecration of graves; and assault by drive-by shooting.

In the event that the above crimes are deemed to be misdemeanors, the suspect will face a fine of up to $500 or incarceration for up to six months or both. This will be a concurrent sentence to underlying offenses. If the act is declared to be a felony, the defendant will face a fine of up to $5,000 or be incarcerated for up to five years or both. The incarceration might or might not include hard labor. This sentence will be assessed concurrently to any other underlying offenses. These acts don't only involve individuals, but organizations as well. An organization can include: a foundation, fund, lawful corporation, trust or partnership; a lawful group of people who might not have been incorporated but are considered a lawful group; any unit or entity associated with the local, federal or state government.

Any hate crime is likely to draw a significant amount of attention from the public and media. Given the world as it is today, those who are arrested and face allegations linked to a hate crime will have a great deal to handle to try to gain acquittal and regain a normal life.

Source: legis.la.gov, "107.2 Hate Crimes," accessed on Jan. 25, 2015

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