Illinois Hate Crimes

The Law – 720 ILCS 5/12-7.1

A person commits Hate Crime when, by reason of the actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation, mental or physical disability, or national origin of another individual or group of individuals, regardless of the existence of any other motivating factor or factors, he commits:

  1. Assault
  2. Battery
  3. Aggravated Assault
  4. Misdemeanor Theft
  5. Criminal Trespass to Residence
  6. Misdemeanor Criminal Damage to Property
  7. Criminal Trespass to a Vehicle
  8. Trespass to Real Property
  9. Mob Action
  10. Disorderly Conduct
  11. Harassment by Telephone
  12. Harassment by Electronic Means

With Hate Crime, prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt at least two different crimes. First, the state must prove each and every element upon which the underlying offense for which the Hate Crime charge is predicated. For example, if the State is alleging that the underlying offense was Battery, the State must prove the individual charged either caused bodily harm to another or made an insulting or provoking physical contact with another. If the underlying offense for Hate Crime has not been proven beyond a reasonable doubt, the prosecution for Hate Crime will fail. However, if the State can prove at least one of the underlying offenses listed above, then State must also prove that crime was committed in whole, or in part, due to the victim’s race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability or national origin. The mere fact that the victim and perpetrator of the offense differed on the above listed characteristics will not be enough to convict the perpetrators of Hate Crime. The underlying act that the Hate Crime is predicated upon must have been committed because of the victim’s race, color, creed or other characteristics enumerated above.

The Sentence

CLASS 4 FELONY FOR 1st OFFENSE

  • 1 TO 3 YEARS

CLASS 2 FELONY FOR ANY SUBSEQUENT OFFENSE

  • 3 TO 7 YEARS

CLASS 3 FELONY FOR 1st OFFENSE (2 TO 5 YEARS) or CLASS 2 FOR ANY SUBSEQUENT OFFENSE IF COMMITED IN OR ON PROPERTY ASSOCIATED WITH, OR WITHIN 1000 FEET OF THE FOLLOWING:

  • Houses of worship
  • Cemeteries
  • Schools
  • Public parks

Probation Possible? – Yes unless it is a second or subsequent conviction when the underlying offense is based on felony aggravated assault or felony mob action.

Supervision Possible? – No.

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