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Bias Intimidation

Toms River NJ Bias Intimidation Attorney

The most well-known NJ case involving the charge of bias intimidation occurred at Rutgers University in 2012 when a student spied on his homosexual roommate leading to suicide. While the facts in the Ravi case tested the breadth of the bias intimidation law, most cases in Ocean County involving this charge are less complicated. The most common scenario is some form of criminal mischief (e.g. graffiti) or assault where the perpetrator makes it clear that his/her actions are motivated by religion, race or sexual orientation of the victim. If you have been charged with bias or intimidation and is facing this offense in Toms River, you need to hire the best attorney you can find. The charge you are facing is extremely serious and can easily land you in state prison. A capable lawyer will be your best tool in averting these consequences and this is precisely what our firm, Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, can provide to you. We are a team of eight criminal attorneys, several of whom are former prosecutors, who have been defending individuals for over a century between us. Our firm defends hate crimes, also referred to a bias intimidation, throughout Ocean County, including Lakewood, Manchester, Lakehurst, Toms River and Berkeley. To speak to one of our lawyers immediately, contact our Toms River Office at (732) 286-6500.

Charged with Bias Intimidation in Ocean County New Jersey

As defined under N.J.S.A. 2C:16-1, a person is guilty of the crime of bias intimidation if he commits, attempts to commit, conspires with another to commit, or threatens the immediate commission of an offense specified in chapters 11 through 18 of Title 2C (New Jersey’s criminal code):

  1. With a purpose to intimidate an individual or group of individuals because of race, color, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, or ethnicity; or
  2. Knowing that the conduct constituting the offense could cause an individual or group of individuals to be intimidated on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, or ethnicity.
  3. Under circumstances that caused any victim of the underlying offense to be intimidated and the victim, considering the manner in which the offense was committed, reasonably believed that (a) either the offense was committed with a purpose to intimidate the victim or any person or entity in whose welfare the victim is interested on the basis of any of the above (namely race, color, religion, gender, etc.)

A permissive inference may be drawn by officials that prosecute the offense or in other words proof that the target of an underlying offense specified in chapters 11 through 18 was chosen on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, allows for the inference that the defendant acted with a purpose to intimidate an individual or group of individuals because of race, color, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, or ethnicity.

Bias intimidation is a crime that is always one degree higher in terms of grading than whatever the underlying offense is. This means that if the underlying offense is a disorderly persons offense that the bias intimidation charge is a fourth degree offense. This is true of every offense except where the underlying offense is that of a first degree offense in which case the bias intimidation charge is also a crime of the first degree. Upon conviction of a first degree offense of bias intimidation a person may be subject to an ordinary term of imprisonment from 15 to 30 years, with a presumptive term of 20 years. It is also important to note that a conviction for bias intimidation will not merge with a conviction for the underlying offense. What this means is that a person could hypothetically be convicted of a first degree offense carrying a prison sentence of 15 to 30 years and the bias intimidation charge to be served consecutively. Therefore, someone convicted of a first degree crime and first degree bias intimidation could serve upwards of 40 years in prison.

In addition to fines that may be imposed under N.J.S.A. 2C:43-3 or prison time imposed under N.J.S.A. 2C:43-6, a court may order a person convicted of bias intimidation to one or more of the following:

  1. Complete a class or program on sensitivity to diverse communities, or other similar training in the area of civil rights;
  2. Complete a counseling program intended to reduce the tendency toward violent and antisocial behavior;
  3. Make payments or other compensation to a community-based program or local agency that provides services to victims of bias intimidation.

Lastly, it shall not be a defense to a prosecution for a crime under this section that the defendant was mistaken as to the race, color, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, or ethnicity of the victim. If a person chooses to commit a crime against a person for any of these reasons, it does not matter that they were mistaken as to the identification of that person with the race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation that was the cause of their being targeted.

Manchester NJ Bias Crime Attorneys

As is apparent, bias intimidation is a serious offense which no person should face without an experienced criminal lawyer. The penalties that are imposed under NJ Law are stiff and leniency is rare as judges and prosecutors tend to take a hard line on hate crimes. This is why you absolutely cannot attempt to defend this charge without highly skilled attorneys at your side. Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall has over 100 years of combined experience to insure that you secure the best available outcome of your bias case. If you were arrested in Jackson, Barnegat, Lacey, Stafford or Brick and charged with bias intimidation, our lawyers are fully equipped to defend you.  An attorney is ready to discuss the details of what has been alleged against you and provide you with the direction and comfort you need. Call us now at (732) 286-6500 for immediate assistance.

What Clients Say About Our Ocean County Criminal Defense Attorneys
Exemplary attorneys. I hired them for a DUI and an expungement. I was happy with the results for both cases. Special thank you to Samera for always answering all of my calls and questions JC
I'm 45 years old and this was my first time ever getting in trouble with the law. I was in need of a lawyer and after careful research, I called John F. Marshall Attorneys and was introduced to Abe Basch. Abe was professional, supportive and very thorough. I had three charges against me, one civil and two criminal. I was so scared and expressed that to Abe. The first day I had to go to court, I was an absolute nervous wreck but Abe prepped me and kept my anxiety levels down by going over the process of the courts thoroughly with me. He fought to get my charges dismissed and won all three cases (two court appearances). Abe is positive, confident and he ensured I felt the same way. I'd like to say thank you to Abe for working so diligently on my cases to get them dismissed. I feel like a weight has been lifted off my chest! I highly recommend Abe for any charges you may be faced with. Rose C.
I was out of state on a family emergency and I had to retain council asap as a boy friend was sitting in county jail with the new no bail point system and Mr marshal and staff made me feel Soo much better knowing that my detained loved one was in such great hands! He spoke to me as I was outta state kept in touch allowed me to work out payment due to the situation and just all out the difference in my bfs voice alone with all the medical problems and such he was going threw sounded better than he had since the first day he was there and was Soo happy that Mr marshal went that day retained to see him in the jail and have him ready for court which wasn't supposed to be till Friday but again Mr marshall and team got it so we can get him now on wendsday and all I have to say is if your looking for a real down to earth lawyer that will work with you and help in anyway possible and I can't for get the team at the office TONI and everyone else thank you again I'd give 100 stars if I could! Nicole J.
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