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Bias and Hate Crimes Information

In Pennsylvania, a hate crime is defined as a criminal act motivated by ill will or hatred toward a victim's race, color, religion, or national origin.

  • Hate crimes are termed "ethnic intimidation" in Pennsylvania, and the offense is set forth in the crimes code, Title 18, Section 2710.
  • When certain criminal offenses are committed with the motive of hate, the crime of ethnic intimidation can also be charged.
  • Generally, the types of offenses to which ethnic intimidation can be added are called "underlying offenses." Underlying offenses involve danger or harm to you and/or your property.
  • The Pennsylvania State Police and local police departments charge and investigate criminal offenses that involve ethnic intimidation.
  • Learn about hate crimes on a federal level at the FBI website.


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