July 7, 2011 By Wallin & Klarich

According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, detestable messages targeting gays were found scrawled outside a business in Lancaster Sunday. Spray painted messages such as “Kill All Gays Now” and “Gays Go 2 Hell” were spray painted outside the business between 10 p.m. Saturday and 5 a.m. Sunday. According to the Sheriff’s Department, the matter is being treated as a hate crime.

In California, a misdemeanor hate crime is codified under California Penal Code Section 422.6. A person can be convicted under Penal Code Section 422.6 if they willingly injured, intimidated, or interfered with another person’s constitutional rights or privileges by force or threat of force, or damaged, defaced, or destroyed a person’s property.

If convicted, a defendant faces up to one year in a county jail, a maximum fine of $5,000, and a maximum of 400 hours of community service. In addition, a conviction under California Penal Code Section 422.6, will result in more severe punishments if convicted of another hate crime in the future.

Under California Penal Code Section 422.7, a prosecutor may charge a defendant with a felony, for a hate crime that would otherwise be charged as a misdemeanor, if:

The crime against the person of another either includes the present ability to commit a violent injury or causes actual physical injury, or The crime against property causes damage in excess of four hundred dollars ($400), or The person charged with a crime under this section has been convicted previously of a violation of California Penal Code Section 422.6.
If you or a loved one have been charged with a crime, it is imperative that you hire an aggressive, experienced criminal defense firm. Hiring an experienced criminal defense law firm can greatly increase your chances of keeping your freedom, and ensuring you receive the lowest possible sentence. The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have been helping people for over 30 years.

Please feel free to contact Wallin & Klarich to discuss your case. You can reach us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 877-466-5245 or go to our website at www.wklaw.com for more information.

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