Article 12: Hate Crimes
Hate crimes often receive lots of media attention, and as one would expect, the Illinois Criminal Code treats them very seriously. When a person commits a crime such as assault, battery, or theft towards another individual by reason of that individuals race, religion, sexual orientation, or another factor inherent to identity, they are committing a hate crime. Hate crime can be classified up to a Class 2 felony.
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The text below comes from Article 12 of the Illinois Criminal Code of 1961. This law may have changed -- please read the important legal disclaimer at the bottom of this page.
Sec. 12-7.1. Hate crime.
(720 ILCS 5/12-7.1)
(a) A person commits hate crime when, by reason of the actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, or national origin of another individual or group of individuals, regardless of the existence of any other motivating factor or factors, he commits assault, battery, aggravated assault, misdemeanor theft, criminal trespass to residence, misdemeanor criminal damage to property, criminal trespass to vehicle, criminal trespass to real property, mob action or disorderly conduct as these crimes are defined in Sections 12-1, 12-2, 12-3, 16-1, 19-4, 21-1, 21-2, 21-3, 25-1, and 26-1 of this Code, respectively, or harassment by telephone as defined in Section 1-1 of the Harassing and Obscene Communications Act, or harassment through electronic communications as defined in clauses (a)(2) and (a)(4) of Section 1-2 of the Harassing and Obscene Communications Act.
(b) Except as provided in subsection (b-5), hate crime is a Class 4 felony for a first offense and a Class 2 felony for a second or subsequent offense.
(b-5) Hate crime is a Class 3 felony for a first offense and a Class 2 felony for a second or subsequent offense if committed:
(1) in a church, synagogue, mosque, or other building, structure, or place used for religious worship or other religious purpose;
(2) in a cemetery, mortuary, or other facility used for the purpose of burial or memorializing the dead;
(3) in a school or other educational facility, including an administrative facility or public or private dormitory facility of or associated with the school or other educational facility;
(4) in a public park or an ethnic or religious community center;
(5) on the real property comprising any location specified in clauses (1) through (4) of this subsection (b-5); or
(6) on a public way within 1,000 feet of the real property comprising any location specified in clauses (1) through (4) of this subsection (b-5).
(b-10) Upon imposition of any sentence, the trial court shall also either order restitution paid to the victim or impose a fine up to $1,000. In addition, any order of probation or conditional discharge entered following a conviction or an adjudication of delinquency shall include a condition that the offender perform public or community service of no less than 200 hours if that service is established in the county where the offender was convicted of hate crime. The court may also impose any other condition of probation or conditional discharge under this Section.
(c) Independent of any criminal prosecution or the result thereof, any person suffering injury to his person or damage to his property as a result of hate crime may bring a civil action for damages, injunction or other appropriate relief. The court may award actual damages, including damages for emotional distress, or punitive damages. A judgment may include attorney's fees and costs. The parents or legal guardians, other than guardians appointed pursuant to the Juvenile Court Act or the Juvenile Court Act of 1987, of an unemancipated minor shall be liable for the amount of any judgment for actual damages rendered against such minor under this subsection (c) in any amount not exceeding the amount provided under Section 5 of the Parental Responsibility Law.
(d) "Sexual orientation" means heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality. (Source: P.A. 93-463, eff. 8-8-03; 93-765, eff. 7-19-04; 94-80, eff. 6-27-05.)
Return to Illinois Criminal Code of 1961 Table of Contents
DISCLAIMER: These excerpts from the law are provided for reference purposes only. Visitors to our Chicago criminal defense lawyer website should be aware that Illinois criminal laws have been amended many times and that Illinois crime laws posted on this site may not be current. In addition, Illinois criminal case law defines precedents for legal determinations that are not defined in the original laws.