Hate crimes and incidents not only affect the victim but also the community. Our country, constitution, and national character are based on tolerance and respect for the rights and needs of the individual. Hate crimes and incidents directly attack those founding principles; breeding fear, distrust, and uncertainty.
Hate crimes can be prosecuted either as misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the severity of the acts committed. Local hate crimes and hate incidents are tracked by the Ventura Police Department.
Historically, hate crimes go unreported; thus, many are not prosecuted. The Ventura Police Department, the City of Ventura, the County of Ventura, and the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office are all committed to apprehending and prosecuting perpetrators.
Additionally, the California Victims’ Bill of Rights Act- Marsy’s Law- gives you these important legal rights:
- Get money for your losses: Apply for money to cover your property losses, medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses.
- Say how the crime impacted you: Tell the court how the crime impacted your life before the defendant is sentenced.
- Get information about the criminal case: Ask the prosecutor for certain information about the case.
- Get order from the court: The court can make orders that could help you, such as a protective order, to keep the defendant away from you or an order to pay attorney fees if you hired a lawyer to help with your case. The court may also order the defendant to pay you $25,000 or more for violating your civil rights. (Talk to your lawyer about your rights under the Ralph Act and the Bane Act.) You can apply for a Restraining Order at the Ventura County Government Center Superior Court, Hall of Justice, located at 800 S. Victoria Rd. You can also call 805-654-5000 or email [email protected] for more information.