What is a Hate Crime?
“(A) A hate crime is any criminal infringement, including offences against people or their properties, where the victim, location, or the objective of infringement are chosen by their, real or perceived, connection, sympathy, affiliation, support or belonging to a group like those defined in part B; (B) A group should be based on a common characteristic of its members. For example its real or perceptive race, the national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, sex, age, intellectual or physical disability, sexual orientation, or other similar factor.” (OSCE, 2003).
The idea of hate crime was devised to protect a series of minorities who historically have been persecuted or discriminated and, therefore, they need a special protection to protect their dignity.
Evidently what is punished is not a feeling only specific actions.
Our lawyers can defend you in cases where you have been accused or have been a victim of a hate crime, or a crime which is of a criminal nature.
Where is it Regulated?
Hate crime is previewed in the Criminal Code, Article 510, punishing the behaviours with a prison sentence of 1 up to 4 years. It is also possible to receive a fine from 6 to 12 months. Our lawyers can defend you, reducing your sentence to the minimum possible or achieving its absolution, depending on the specific case.
The sentences imposed are of the utmost severity when the crimes have been carried out through social media, via the internet or using information technologies, thus making the action accessible to more people.
Our lawyers are also specialised in tax. With respect to hate crimes there is a specialised tax. The tax is called The origin of the Delegation of the Criminal Protection of Equality and against Discrimination for the Decree of the General Tax of the State of the date 10th of October 2011.
How are Hate Crimes identified?
As hate crimes are defined by their motivation their nature can remain disgused if police or judicial investigations do not find details or evidence revealing the motivation as criminal.
Sometimes, the cause of this behaviour is not known by those in charge of the investigation and criminal prosecution. Moreover causes could be catalogued incorrectly. Often, victims choose to not file a lawsuit. This can be due to their own feelings of vulnerability, the fear of the police forces, or the insecurity derived from the situation of irregularity in our country due to the inherent risk of administrative expulsion.
Reporting hate crimes early is very important. Consequently, this allows for thorough investigation, and accurate valuation and prosecution. This also allows for information about the incidence of hate crimes to be plotted at the times they occur and in the areas where they take place most predominantly. Reporting these crimes also allows for the identification of the groups who are at most risk of being a victim of these crimes.
In Spain, the law follows the European Law for Hate Crimes, which derives from the European Tribunal of Human Rights. As awareness and reporting of hate crimes increase, it is important that training increases for all judicial operators with responsibility in the investigation and judgement of this type of criminal offences, particularly of judges, lawyers and for the State Security.
How can we help?
For victims of a hate crime, or people accused of carrying out a hate crime, it is important to report them as soon as possible. Therefore, we recommend that you contact a reliable lawyer to represent you in the case. At Piñera del Olmo, we have years of experince in criminal law cases, including those relating to hate crimes. Please do not hesitate to contact our firm, so that we can begin to help you with your case.
Our criminal lawyers can help you with your case in Barcelona, Catalonia, or other areas of Spain.
Should you need further information, or legal advice, please do not hesitate to contact our lawyers.
Disclaimer: This information in this article is not definitive, for up to date legal advice which is relevant to your case, please contact our lawyers directly.