Does Kentucky Have A Hate Crime Law?

On Behalf of | Aug 29, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

In recent years, the issue of hate crimes has garnered significant attention nationwide. But what about Kentucky?

Does the state have a hate crime law in place? If so, what actions might fall under this category, and what consequences could individuals face if found guilty of committing such crimes?

Kentucky’s Hate Crime Law

Kentucky does have a hate crime law. This law aims to address crimes motivated by prejudice based on a person’s race, color, religion, sexual orientation or national origin. Essentially, it targets acts committed with the intention of causing harm or intimidation due to these specific characteristics.

Actions that may fall under the hate crime category

Kentucky’s hate crime law covers a range of actions deemed hateful or discriminatory. For instance, if someone physically assaults another person because of their religious beliefs, it may be deemed a hate crime. Similarly, damaging property with the intent to intimidate someone based on their sexual orientation could also fall into this category. Other examples include verbal threats, harassment, or vandalism targeting an individual due to race or national origin.

Potential consequences of a hate crime charge

Those convicted may face enhanced penalties compared to similar crimes without a hate-based motivation. These penalties might include longer prison sentences, higher fines or additional probationary periods. The specific consequences vary based on the severity of the crime and the offender’s criminal history.

Kentucky takes hate crimes seriously, especially considering that of the 154 hate-crime incidents in 2021, crimes against a person accounted for 73.6% of them. Anyone who receives these charges faces a complicated legal process.