What is a Hate Crime?

A hate crime is a criminal offense committed against a person, which is motivated in whole or in part by the alleged perpetrator’s bias against a race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, military or veteran status or any other characteristic protected under federal or state law. Hate crimes may include threatened, attempted, or actual crimes; and may include assault and battery, vandalism, or other destruction of property, or verbal threats of physical harm. Harassment or intimidation may also be hate crimes when used to deprive or interfere with a person's exercise of their civil rights.