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Local Merchants Partner With Police to Battle Hate Crimes in San Jose

Posted on in Criminal Defense

San Jose, CA hate crime defense attorney

In the Bay Area, harassing, intimidating, or acting in any type of threatening or aggressive behavior toward others based on certain characteristics could result in serious charges. Classified as hate crimes, these charges require an immediate and strong criminal defense. In San Jose, Calif., authorities are getting more aggressive in dealing with hate crimes. Through a new program called “Safe Place,” they are hoping partnerships with local merchants can help in identifying when these crimes occur and in apprehending offenders. 

San Jose Offers “Safe Place” for Victims of Discrimination 

San Jose police officials are making it easier for alleged victims of discrimination and hate crimes to report the incidents and the suspects involved. The SJPD is partnering with local merchants in launching the Safe Place program. Participants in the program place a rainbow-colored decal on the window or door of their business. This is meant to be a signal to victims of hate crimes, encouraging them to come forward while providing assurance of support and that the appropriate legal actions will be taken. Thus far, Starbucks stores in the area and over 25 Wells Fargo Bank branches have agreed to take part, as have many smaller, local businesses. 

The SJPD was prompted to create this program to combat an overall increase in the number of hate crimes they claim are being committed. As many as 40 hate crimes are reported in the immediate area each year. Advocates claim the actual number is higher, as victims are often too afraid or intimidated to take action. The Safe Place program, which is based on one established in Seattle in 2015 to combat discrimination against LGBTQ individuals, is expected to eventually result in an increase in arrests and prosecutions for hate crimes throughout the Bay Area. 

Charges and Penalties for Hate Crimes in the Bay Area

Allegations concerning hate crimes are serious and require an appropriate legal defense. The California Attorney General takes a strong stance against these types of crimes and is aggressive in prosecuting alleged offenders. The AG’s Rapid Response Team partners with local, state, and federal officials in investigating these crimes and those alleged to have been involved. For legal purposes, hate crimes are considered any type of aggressive, demeaning, harassing, or threatening act committed against another group based on the following factors: 

  • Actual or perceived disability

  • Gender or sexual orientation

  • Race, nationality, or ethnicity

  • Religious beliefs or practices

Hate crime charges carry serious penalties, including fines and a potential jail sentence. In addition, these crimes carry a strong social stigma and could cost you your reputation and your career. 

Contact a San Jose, CA Hate Crime Defense Lawyer 

Hate crimes are taken seriously in the state of California, and they may result in fines and prison time, depending on the circumstances. If you have been accused of a hate crime, the Jachimowicz Law Group can provide the aggressive, experienced legal representation you need to protect yourself and your reputation. Call our office today at 408-246-5500 or contact our skilled San Jose, CA criminal defense attorneys online to schedule a free, confidential consultation.   






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