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Legal Relief for “Hate Crimes”

Question: What legal relief is available if I believe I was the victim of a “hate crime?” Answer: A hate crime occurs when a person “commits assault, battery, aggravated assault, misdemeanor theft, criminal trespass to a residence, misdemeanor criminal damage to property, criminal trespass to real property, mob action or disorderly conduct” against a victim because of the victim’s ethnicity, race, religion or other characteristics. Any hate crime is punishable with criminal prosecution and remedies that may include restitution paid to the victim. You can also pursue a civil action for hate crime and seek damages, attorneys’ fees, and other relief.       For more information about Illinois law, visit If you have a legal question, send it to   Illinois Law Now is a series of newspaper and internet posts prepared by the Illinois State Bar Association that address legal issues of interest to the public. For additional information about the law, visit