A recent report released by the Florida Attorney General shows a small increase in hate crimes for the state in 2010, according to NBC Miami. Although the total number of hate crimes only increased by one, from 148 in 2009 to 149 in 2010, this increase was the first in five years.

According to the report, Broward County accounted for the highest number of hate crime incidents in 2010 with 19. Though the highest in the state, the number is still less than the County's total in 2009. Of the hate crimes reported in 2010, the majority were based on sexual orientation, followed by race and religion.

Florida law defines hate crimes as crimes against people or property based on an individual's religion, race, or sexual orientation. These crimes have been recorded in Florida since 1991. Additional notable statistics from the report include the following:

  • Miami-Dade County had a total of 11 hate crimes in 2010, five being based on race, three on religion, and one on sexual orientation.
  • Monroe County only had one incident of hate crime, which was based on sexual orientation.
  • Race is the leading motivation of Florida hate crimes, with 46.3 percent of all hate crime cases being attributed to race.
  • 21.5 percent of Florida hate crimes were based on sexual orientation.
  • 19.5 percent of Florida hate crimes were based on religion.
  • 12.7 percent of Florida hate crimes were based on ethnicity/national origin.

A hate crime conviction in Florida can carry stiff penalties. If you have been charged with a hate crime, or any other criminal offense in Florida, protecting your legal rights should be your first priority. Contact the aggressive Broward County criminal defense lawyers at Musca Law today at (888) 484-5057 for a confidential consultation.