Bias Intimidation Offense in New Jersey

NJ Hate Crimes Defense Lawyers

There is no doubting the fact that hate crimes are on the rise in New Jersey. This circumstance has resulted in two distinct problems from the perspective of those charged with bias intimidation. First, there is a tendency to “over-charge” the offense of bias. Secondly, prosecutors and judges tend to be inflexible in favorably resolving these charges, given their publicity and offensive nature. These considerations, as well as the fact that the penalties are extreme if convicted for a bias or intimidation offense, make it imperative that you hire a top NJ criminal attorney to defend this violation. Our lawyers have what it takes to protect you.

We are the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, an accomplished defense firm with credentials that are both unique and impressive. Our team possesses:

  • Over 200 years of combined experience defending charges for bias, intimidation, and other hate-related offenses
  • Ten lawyers that specialize in defense of the accused
  • Former county prosecutors who have served as Director of Major Crimes, Special Operations, Juvenile Unit, Gun Task Force, and even an entire trial Division
  • Certified criminal trial attorneys
  • An extensive track record of success in representing clients charged with a bias offense

To speak to a member of our staff about a detention hearing, how we can help you, or any other aspect of a case, call 877-450-8301. An attorney is available 24/7 and initial consultations are always free.

New Jersey Bias Intimidation Law

The offense, which is titled “bias intimidation”, is contained at N.J.S.A. 2C:16-1. This law makes it a crime to commit, attempt to commit, conspire with another to commit, or threaten the immediate commission of a criminal offense for the purpose of causing intimidation or knowing it would cause intimidation because of an individual or group’s race, color, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, or ethnicity.

Grading. The degree of crime and severity of a bias intimidation offense hinges on the nature of the underlying threat crime. If the threat or charge committed to intimidate is a disorderly person offense such as harassment then the violation is a fourth-degree crime. In all other instances, bias intimidation is a crime one degree higher than the criminal offenses threatened or committed to intimidate. For example, if the threat was to commit a third-degree terroristic threat then bias intimidation is a second-degree crime.

Penalties. Fourth-degree bias intimidation results in a $10,000 fine and up to 18 months in prison. A third-degree crime under 2C:16-1 results in a fine of up to $15,000 and up to 5 years in prison. The maximum fine is $150,000, and the prison term is 5-10 years in prison for second-degree bias intimidation. The most serious variety of bias intimation is a first-degree crime that carries a fine up to $200,000 and 15-30 years in prison. In addition to the penalties just described, an individual is required to attend sensitivity counseling or to make payment to support organization(s).

Merger Does Not Apply. A conviction for bias intimidation does not merge with a conviction for the threat or offense committed to intimidate. The accused is subject to the penalties and separate sentences for both the underlying criminal offense and for bias intimidation.

New Jersey Bias Charge Attorneys

If you were charged with a bias crime anywhere in New Jersey, you could not afford to make a mistake in hiring a lawyer to defend you. You need the very best advocate that you can find, someone that is both highly skilled and knowledgeable. The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall has a formidable team of top lawyers that has decades of experience representing clients accused of bias and/or intimidation. To get the top-level representation you absolutely need to achieve an acquittal or other favorable outcome, contact our firm at 877-450-8301.