In the past couple of years, hate crimes have become more prevalent and widely reported in the United States, especially in Illinois. According to data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the country as a whole saw a slight drop in the number of hate crimes committed in 2018. Illinois, however, saw a 32 percent increase in hate crimes. A majority of these hate crimes were influenced by the race and sexual orientation of the victims, while religion-based hate crimes saw a slight decrease. Across the United States, nearly half of the 7,120 hate crimes were perpetrated against African Americans. One recent incident in DuPage County involved a race-based hate crime perpetrated by a teenager.
A Naperville teenager has been charged with a hate crime after he posted an inappropriate ad on Craigslist offering a fellow classmate up for sale. According to investigating officials, the ad, which has since been taken down, bore the title, “Slave for sale” and was followed by a racial slur and also included a photo of a black classmate. Officials announced Wednesday that the 14-year-old boy faced two counts of a hate crime and one count of disorderly conduct for the incident. The school district also took action and punished the boy with two days of suspension, which the victim’s mother chastised as being too lenient.
The state of Illinois defines a hate crime as committing an act of assault, battery, intimidation, stalking, cyberstalking, disorderly conduct, harassment, or harassment through electronic communications toward a person because of his or her perceived race, color, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.
A first offense of a hate crime is classified as a Class 4 felony, which carries serious consequences. If you are convicted of a Class 4 felony, you can face one to three years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. The Naperville teen who is charged with a hate crime faces two counts of the crime, along with a disorderly conduct charge. Even if the teen is not sentenced to time in a juvenile detention facility, it is likely that the judge will require him to perform community service and attend an educational program that is designed to teach tolerance and discourage hate crimes.
When it comes to teenagers, everyone knows they occasionally do inappropriate things. Though this is not an excuse, it does not mean that they deserve to pay for their mistakes for the rest of their lives. Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law understands the impact that a hate crime charge can have on anyone. Being convicted of a hate crime could follow you for the rest of your life. If you or your minor child has been accused of committing a hate crime, you need to immediately contact a knowledgeable Rolling Meadows, IL hate crime defense lawyer. Call our office today at 847-253-3400 to schedule a free consultation.
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