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New Connecticut Law Codifies CSP Hate Crime Investigative Unit

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Fairfield County Hate Crime Defense AttorneyLast month, Governor Ned Lamont signed into law Public Act 22-9, a new law that – among other things – will ensure the ability of the Connecticut State Police’s Hate Crime Investigative Unit will have the tools the unit needs to continue its work. The unit was originally established in October 2021 but was never codified into law.

Along with codifying the unit into law, the law also requires the state to develop a reporting system and best practices, and a model of the investigation policy that law enforcement should use when investigating hate crimes. The law also places time requirements which state that law enforcement has to report hate crimes to the CSP Hate Crimes Investigative Unit, and designates the head of the unit to sit on the State-Wide Hate Crimes Advisory Council.

Hate Crime Investigative Unit

The Hate Crime Investigative Unit is responsible for investigating crimes that are based on bias or bigotry against people based on the following:

  • Disability

  • Ethnicity

  • Gender identity or expression

  • Race

  • Religion

  • Sexual orientation

According to statistics issued by the FBI, there were 101 hate crimes reported in Connecticut in 2020, the most recent year:

  • Sixty-one of those crimes were directed at the victim because of their ancestry, ethnicity, and race

  • Seventeen of those crimes were directed at the victim because of their religion

  • Fifteen of those crimes were directed at the victim because of their sexual orientation

  • Eight of those crimes were directed at the victim because of their disability or because of multiple biases

Penalties for Hate Crimes in Connecticut

Under Connecticut hate crime laws, a person can be charged with three classes of intimidation. The penalty for conviction is based on the class of the charge:

  • First degree intimidation – If the accused harasses or intimidates the alleged victim or victims based on one of the biases or bigotries listed above and causes physical harm to that victim or victims. Charged as a Class C felony. Conviction can result in one to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

  • Second-degree intimidation – If the accused harasses or intimidates the alleged victim or victims based on one of the biases or bigotries listed above and makes physical contact with the victim, damages or destroys property, or threatens to do either of these two things, and the victim or victims have reasonable cause to believe the act or acts will occur. Charged as a Class D felony. Conviction can result in up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

  • Third-degree intimidation – If the accused intends to harass or intimidate the alleged victim or victims based on one of the biases or bigotries listed above and damages or destroys property, or threatens to do either of these two things, and the victim or victims have reasonable cause to believe the act or acts will occur. Charged as a Class E felony. Conviction can result in up to three year in prison and/or a fine of up to $3,500.

Contact a Fairfield Defense Lawyer Today

If you have been charged with a hate crime, you need a skilled Stamford criminal defense attorney defending you. Call Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner at 203-348-5846 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

Source:

https://www.cga.ct.gov/2017/rpt/pdf/2017-R-0196.pdf

https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Public+Act&which_year=2022&bill_num=9