Changes to Hate Crime Law?

SQ Attorneys

SQ Attorneys

On June 6, 2024, just a few short weeks away, changes to Washington’s Hate Crime statute (RCW 9A.36.080) will take effect via Senate Bill 5917, which was passed and then certified/ filed on March 14, 2024. The revisions make modest changes to the original law. RCW 9A.36.080 was amended to read as follows: “(1) A person is guilty of a hate crime offense if the person maliciously and intentionally commits one of the following acts because of their perception of another person’s race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, or mental, physical, or sensory disability: (a) Assaults another person; (b) Causes physical damage to or destruction of the property of another…” Essentially, the changes make the statute non-binary, i.e. it removed references to ‘he’ and ‘she’, ‘his’ and ‘her’, and ‘victim’. The rest of RCW 9A.36.080 remains intact; and in order for the law to be violated, the act still must be done because of someone’s perception of the other’s race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, or mental, physical, or sensory disability, being racist alone isn’t sufficient in and of itself.

If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a criminal charge (theft or otherwise), immediately contact a Seattle Criminal Attorney. A Criminal lawyer is not going to judge you and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle Criminal Lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce penalties and can help direct people on how to best deal with their criminal charge, and many times even get them dismissed. So, it should go without saying that someone cited for a misdemeanor or felony should hire a qualified Seattle Criminal Lawyer as soon as possible. Criminal charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with a crime in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle Criminal Lawyer. SQ Attorneys can be reached at (425) 359-3791 and/or (206) 441-0900.

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