When a violent crime occurs, one of the most important things that detectives do is to try to figure out the motive behind the crime. The motive behind the crime is important because it can be used in the prosecution of the crime. It can also be used as a way to try to prevent other similar crimes from occurring.
In some cases, the violence was brought upon by personal tensions between the victim and the alleged attacker. In other cases, there might not be a reason for the violence. Gang activities and hate crimes are also causes of violent crimes.
When it comes to violent crimes fueled by hate, there are usually underlying tensions that led to the violence. In the majority of hate crime cases, blacks are the target. Other races and ethnicities, as well as certain religions or sexual identities, can also be the targets of hate crimes.
In Missouri, a crime that is classified as a hate crime can lead to enhanced penalties. The hate crime charge is considered a Class C or a Class D felony in the state if the crime meets the criteria set forth by the statute governing hate crimes.
If you are facing violent crime charges that are being classified as hate crimes, you should make sure that you know exactly what you are facing. Learning about your charges and prosecution's case against you can help you to decide what points must be addressed. From there, you can begin to build your defense so that each point is a part of the defense strategy.
Source: FindLaw, "Hate Crime: The Violence of Intolerance," accessed May 20, 2016