Legally reviewed by: Kevin Waddingham Updated:

Racially Aggravated Offences

Racially aggravated offence charges
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Being convicted of racially aggravated offences, it can destroy your reputation and harm your family. Cartwright King’s reputable Criminal Defence Lawyers will do everything they can to defend you against allegations of racially aggravated offences. We will scrutinise the evidence against you in detail to ensure treatment.

Get in touch with Cartwright King’s Criminal Defence team now.

Racially Aggravated Offences and the Law

The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 states that an offence becomes racially aggravated if:

  1. At the time of committing the offence, or immediately before or after doing so, you demonstrate hostility towards another person based on their membership
    – or presumed membership – of a racial or religious group; or
  2. The offence is motivated – wholly or partly – by hostility towards members of a racial or religious group based on their membership of that group.

If these elements are established in addition to proof of the assault, then the assault you have been alleged to have committed is racially aggravated. Once racial aggravation is proved, the Court’s sentencing powers increase. For example, “common assault”, which alone can only be heard in the Magistrates Court and carries a maximum of 6 months imprisonment, becomes a case that could go to the Crown Court where the maximum is two years imprisonment. Penalties for other assaults increase when they are said to be racially aggravated. Courts must indicate that they have specifically increased the sentence to account for the aggravating feature.

In such a case, it is imperative to have expert legal advice to reduce the chances of any difficulties later in the trial.

How Cartwright King Can Help You

If you’re arrested or charged with a racially aggravated offence, you need legal representation that takes a non-judgemental approach toward your case – you can find it with Cartwright King’s Criminal Defence Lawyers.

Our leading Criminal Defence Solicitors can help you with:

Benefit from Free Legal Advice at a Police Station

If you’re arrested on suspicion of a racially aggravated offence, Cartwright King’s professional Criminal Defence Solicitors are available day and night to offer free legal advice at the police station. Our priority is to ensure that your position is protected and your defence is properly presented.

You have the right to choose a person to represent you legally. Tell the police you want to be represented by Cartwright King, and one of our specialist Criminal Defence lawyers will be there when you need them most, no matter where in the UK you are located.

Unique Advocacy Services

We can represent you at every stage of your case. Our unique advocacy services give you legal representation from the police station through to the Higher Courts. When you need us most, we will be there with the legal know-how and calm head to guide you through your case.

Why Choose Cartwright King for Racially Aggregated Offences?

Criminal defence is our specialism. That’s why our lawyers are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to ensure that you have legal representation when you need it most.

70% of our cases involve defending against criminal charges, including racially aggravated offences. Our reputation is built on successfully clearing people accused of criminal activity. We’re trusted, resourceful and calm under pressure, giving you defence counsel that you can count on.

Free, Initial Phone Conversation

Call us now to speak to one of our Criminal Defence Lawyers for a free, no-obligation chat. When facing racially aggravated offences, there’s no better way of understanding the situation and what is going to happen next than by talking to one of our lawyers

The discussion is completely free, informal and confidential and allows us to:

  • Understand your circumstances
  • your options and decide what will be the best way to proceed

Legal Fees

If you find yourself arrested on suspicion of a racially aggravated offence and taken to a police station, remember you have the right to free and independent legal advice.
Instructing Cartwright King means you’re choosing the leading provider of Legal Aid for criminal defence services. Any representation and advice we provide you with at the police station is entirely free.

To receive calm, collected legal representation and an immediate, 24/7 response, please call us, or email your enquiry.

We're here for you.

Frequently asked questions.

What is Racism?

Racism includes but is not limited to prejudice, hatred, or discrimination directed towards someone solely because of the colour of their skin, ethnicity, or where they come from.

Although some people use the word ‘racism’ when talking about assault or harassment, it’s more than that. It’s understandable where does it come from, as even from the definition of racist, it is implicated that racism is visible. That’s not always the case, as a person can be a racist and not show it to the outside world.

For instance, racial jokes and name-calling are racism. Excluding people from particular a group or activity because of their race is racism. Looking through the list of applicants and deciding to not offer an interview to people with specific surnames is racism.

What Is a Racially Aggravated Offence?

Racially aggravated offences are set out in the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 outlining that assault becomes racially aggravated if a verbal or physical attack is carried out based on an individual’s membership of a racial group or if the offender shows any hostility toward the victim right before or after committing the offence solely because of them being part of the above-mentioned racial group.

In this case, ‘racial group’ is defined as a ‘group of persons defined by reference to race, colour, nationality (including citizenship) or ethnic or national origins’

What Are Hate Incidents?

A smaller offence motivated by protected characteristics is known as a hate incident. We’re talking about a hate incident if the victim, or anyone else, thinks that the incident was motivated by hostility or prejudice based on protected characteristics.

Protected characteristics include but are not limited to age, gender reassignment, sex, race, and religion or belief.

A hate incident can take many forms, with the most common ones being:

  • verbal abuse, such as offensive jokes or name-calling
  • bullying or intimidation done by both children and adults,
  • online abuse on social media like Facebook or Instagram,
  • throwing garbage into one’s garden,
  • harm or damage to one’s pet, home or vehicle
  • displaying discriminatory literature or posters
  • physical attacks, including punching, spitting, hitting, etc.
  • graffiti
  • abusive phone calls or text messages, as well as hate mail

What Is Hate Crime?

When a hate incident breaks the law of the land, it becomes a hate crime.
Racially aggravated offences are part of hate crime, which is a term used to describe any criminal behaviour in which the offender is motivated by the victim’s ‘protected characteristics’.

Some of the most common forms of hate crime include:

What Sentence Could I Get?

Cartwright King will do everything we can to help you avoid prosecution, giving you sound, sensible legal advice and sure guidance throughout legal proceedings. If you are found guilty, racially aggravated offences give the Court greater sentencing powers.

For example, a ‘common assault’ charge can only be heard in the Magistrates Court and carries a maximum six-month prison sentence. However, racially aggravated common assault cases can be dealt with at the Crown Court, where a two-year maximum prison sentence can be handed down.

The severity of a sentence is determined by whether a case is heard in the Magistrates Court or the Crown Court.

Some other things that affect the length of your sentence include:

  • whether the offence was planned
  • whether the offence was a part of a pattern
  • whether the offence was set up purposely for the humiliation of the victim
  • whether the offence took place in the victim’s home
  • whether the offence wasn’t a single occurrence

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