Posted on 3/28/22

A Midland, Texas man, 21, Recently pleaded guilty to three hate crime charges. He attacked an Asian man and his son at a Sam’s Club. The defendant admitted that he followed the family into the store, took a knife from one of these store displays, and cut the father, his 6-year-old son, and a store employee who tried to intervene. The defendant stated that he blamed China for the COVID-19 pandemic and mistook the family, who was Burmese, for Chinese. The victims suffered serious injuries. 

What Constitutes a Hate Crime in Texas?

Under Texas law, a hate crime is a crime committed against another person solely because the person belongs to a certain class or group. Race, ethnicity, gender, religion, and political affiliation are examples of the groups protected under Texas hate crime laws. Many hate crimes are violent, and they can include the following:

  • Assault and battery

  • Murder

  • Rape

  • Intimidation

  • Destruction of property

Penalties for Texas Hate Crime Charges

The penalties for hate crimes vary widely, depending on the penalties associated with the underlying crime. Hate crimes can be classified as misdemeanor crimes or felony-level crimes that carry at least a year in prison, depending on the type of act committed. Courts will look at several factors to determine the sentencing, including the seriousness of the crime and how much planning the defendant underwent to carry out the crime. 

For example, when defendants are deemed to have conspired with other people to commit the hate crime, they will generally be treated more harshly than those who act alone. If you are unsure what types of penalties you face, we recommend discussing your case with an attorney. Some of the types of punishments that a court can hand down include the following:

Flower Mound Office

Phone: 972.584.7837

Denton Office