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Bias Intimidation

Marlboro NJ Bias Intimidation Lawyers

There are all kinds of scenarios wherein an issue of bias intimidation can arise. While the classic scenario is a bullying type scenario, there are also instances where an incident of criminal mischief, including destruction of property or graffitti, can result in bias charges under N.J.S.A. 2C:16-1. We have even seen situations where invasion of privacy can mushroom into an intimidation bias case. If you find yourself charged or being investigated under 2C:16-1 for a bias crime in West Long Branch, Marlboro, Asbury Park, Aberdeen, Deal, Manalapan, or another Monmouth County municipality, we can help. Our defense team includes multiple former prosecutors and a staff with over 100 years of criminal defense experience. Our staff of bias and intimidation defense lawyers have been appearing at the Monmouth County Superior Court, Freehold NJ, for well over twenty (20) years on behalf of clients accused of threatening to commit crimes to intimidate someone because of their color, race, sexual orientation, or religion for well over twenty (20) years now. Give our Freehold Office or Red Bank Office a call anytime 24/7 for immediate assistance from one of our criminal attorneys.

New Jersey Bias & Intimidation Law – N.J.S.A. 2C:16-1

For the assistance of those reviewing this page, we are providing a full copy of the law in NJ that addresses the offense of bias intimidation. A summary of the law has also been provided for your guidance. In any case, the statute provides as follows:

Bias Intimidation. 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 of the New Jersey Statutes; N.J.S. 2C:33-4; N.J.S. 2C:39-3; N.J.S.2C:39-4 or N.J.S. 2C:39-5,

(1) with a purpose to intimidate an individual or group of individuals because of race, color, religion, gender, handicap, sexual orientation, or ethnicity; or

(2) knowing that the conduct constituting the offense would cause an individual or group of individuals to be intimidated because of race, color, religion, gender, handicap, sexual orientation, or ethnicity; or

(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 either that

(a) the offense was committed with a purpose to intimidate the victim or any person or entity in whose welfare the victim is interested because of race, color, religion, gender, handicap, sexual orientation, or ethnicity, or (b) the victim or the victim’s property was selected to be the target of the offense because of the victim’s race, color, religion, gender, handicap, sexual orientation, or ethnicity.

b. Permissive inference concerning selection of targeted person or property. Proof that the target of the underlying offense was selected by the defendant, or by another acting in concert with the defendant, because of race, color, religion, gender, handicap, sexual orientation, or ethnicity shall give rise to a permissive inference by the trier of fact that the defendant acted with a purpose to intimidate an individual or group of individuals because of race, color, religion, gender, handicap, sexual orientation, or ethnicity.

c. Grading. Bias intimidation is a crime of the fourth degree if the underlying offense referred to in subsection a. is a disorderly person’s offense or petty disorderly person’s offense. Otherwise, bias intimidation is a crime one degree higher than the most serious underlying crime referred to in subsection a., except that where the underlying crime is a crime of the first degree, bias intimidation is a first-degree crime and the defendant upon conviction thereof may, notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (1) of subsection a. of N.J.S. 2C:43-6, be sentenced to an ordinary term of imprisonment between 15 years and 30 years, with a presumptive term of 20 years.

Summary of the Bias Law. The law renders a person guilty of bias intimidation if he commits, attempts to commit, conspires to commit, or threatens the immediate commission of a criminal act involving danger to the person defined in the criminal code as 2C:11 through 2C:16 (homicide, assault and threats, kidnapping and related offenses, sexual offenses, robbery, bias crimes). Two offenses against property are also included, 2C:17 and 2C:18 (arson, criminal mischief and other property destruction, and burglary and other criminal intrusion). One or more of these offenses must be committed with the purpose to intimidate an individual or group because of race, color, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin or ethnicity. It is also sufficient for the statute that the actor knows that the conduct of their offense would cause one of the aforementioned groups to feel intimidated.

Sentencing. Bias intimidation is graded as a crime one degree higher than the most serious related charge. For example, if the initial charge is a disorderly persons offense, the bias intimidation charge would be graded as a 4th degree crime. In addition to any fine or term of imprisonment imposed, a person convicted of bias intimidation is subject to sensitivity programs, counseling programs, and/or compensation payments to be made to any community organization that offers services to victims of bias intimidation.

Asbury Park Bias Intimidation Attorneys

The charge of Bias Intimidation usually exacerbates already serious charges like aggravated assault. If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime in Asbury Park, for example, and the prosecutor is pursuing an additional “bias intimidation” charge, it is critical that you acquire a team of qualified attorneys to defend you. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Jonathan Marshall include former prosecutors in Monmouth County with years of experience battling complex criminal cases like yours. Call us whether your charge arose in Manasquan, Belmar, Englishtown, Holmdel, or Ocean. Our Freehold and Red Bank law offices stand ready to defend against “bias intimidation” charges, call us now for a free initial consultation at (732) 450-8300.