Thursday, November 12, 2015

Patriot FAIL! Two Massachusetts Teenagers are Arrested and Charged with a "Hate Crime" for Spraying "U.S.A." and Throwing Eggs at a Mosque ~ Call Michael A. Haber, Esq. @ 1-888-SHARK-8-1

Meet Cameron S. Capella (below left) and Derrik M. Demone (below right), both 18 and from Burlington, Massachusetts.

These genii were arrested on Sunday, November 1st, 2015 for maliciously vandalizing the Islamic Center of Burlington, MA.  

More specifically, eggs were thrown at the building and the letters "U.S.A." were tagged on the mosque multiple times in red spray paint.  Citing "several leads from the community" Burlington Police Chief Michael Kent said: "We were able to quickly close this shameful case involving a hate crime in our community.  This behavior is not tolerated in our town and the suspects will be held responsible for their actions."

Memo to the Folks:   Although the definition varies from State to State, generally a "hate crime" is a crime committed against an individual because of the victim's race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or disability. Some statutes take it further to include crimes based upon homelessness, gender identification, gender expression and political affiliation.  Regardless of the specifics, the idea behind "hate crime" legislation is that crimes which are motivated by bigotry or bias are not only crimes against an individual victim but also pose a significant threat to society.

Memo to the Folks continued:  Florida Statute 775.085 (which is re-produced below and available by clicking here) delineates Florida's take on hate crimes.  Essentially, if proven then the underlying offense is reclassified for punishment purposes by "bumping" it up a level (i.e. a 3rd degree felony is normally punishable by a statutory maximum of five (5) years but if it is proven to have been committed while evidencing prejudice to "race, color, ancestry, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, homeless status, mental or physical disability or advanced age of the victim" then for sentencing purposes the offense will be treated as a 2nd degree felony and will instead be punishable by up to fifteen (15) years in state prison).  

775.085 Evidencing prejudice while committing offense; reclassification.
(1)(a) The penalty for any felony or misdemeanor shall be reclassified as provided in this subsection if the commission of such felony or misdemeanor evidences prejudice based on the race, color, ancestry, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, homeless status, mental or physical disability, or advanced age of the victim:
1. A misdemeanor of the second degree is reclassified to a misdemeanor of the first degree.
2. A misdemeanor of the first degree is reclassified to a felony of the third degree.
3. A felony of the third degree is reclassified to a felony of the second degree.
4. A felony of the second degree is reclassified to a felony of the first degree.
5. A felony of the first degree is reclassified to a life felony.
(b) As used in paragraph (a), the term:
1. “Mental or physical disability” means that the victim suffers from a condition of physical or mental incapacitation due to a developmental disability, organic brain damage, or mental illness, and has one or more physical or mental limitations that restrict the victim’s ability to perform the normal activities of daily living.
2. “Advanced age” means that the victim is older than 65 years of age.
3. “Homeless status” means that the victim:
a. Lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence; or
b. Has a primary nighttime residence that is:
(I) A supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations; or
(II) A public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.
(2) A person or organization that establishes by clear and convincing evidence that it has been coerced, intimidated, or threatened in violation of this section has a civil cause of action for treble damages, an injunction, or any other appropriate relief in law or in equity. Upon prevailing in such civil action, the plaintiff may recover reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.

(3) It is an essential element of this section that the record reflect that the defendant perceived, knew, or had reasonable grounds to know or perceive that the victim was within the class delineated in this section.

Memo to the Folks continued:  Here's some free legal advise for you:  Don't commit crimes, but, if you do, then...

For more than 23 years Michael A. Haber, P.A. has been providing creative, effective and zealous advocacy and counsel in cases ranging from DUI to drug trafficking and from misdemeanors to first degree murder.  

At Michael A. Haber, P.A. "Its all about reasonable doubt"!

Michael A. Haber, Esq. is prepared to speak with you about your case!

Cell: 305-798-2220; Office: 305-381-8686; Toll Free: 1-888-SHARK-8-1


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