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Hate Crimes: State Statutes and Contacts: Vermont - Wyoming

General Information

This guide is meant to summarize state statutes relating to hate crimes.  In addition to the state statutes listed, there are relevant federal statutes:

  •  Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, H.R. 3355, Pub.L. 103–322, Sec. 280003 108 Stat. 1796, 2096 provides for enhanced sentencing for hate crimes, defined as "a crime in which the defendant intentionally selects a victim, or in the case of a property crime, the property that is the object of the crime, because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation of any person." 
  •  Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act (HCPA), 18 USC § 249
  • For more on federal statutes, see Congressional Research Service Report R47060, Overview of Federal Hate Crime Laws    

The Southern Poverty Law Center has a reporting form for hate incidents.

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association has resources including a reporting form for hate incidents and hate crimes toolkits in 25 languages.

Alison M. Smith and Cassandra L. Foley, State Statutes Governing Hate Crimes, Congressional Research Service Report RL33099 (Sept. 28, 2010) served as an invaluable resource for this guide.  

For UCLA Law users, Westlaw has a treatise on Hate Crimes Law by Zachary J. Wolfe  (login and password required).

State specific information from the federal Department of Justice (hate crimes home page).

The Movement Advancement Project maintains a list of which state hate crimes statutes include sexual orientation and gender identity.

Vermont

Hate crimes laws:

  • 13 Vt. Stat. Ann. § 1454: Statement of purpose of hate crimes statute
  • 13 Vt. Stat. Ann. § 1455: Enhanced penalties for "A person who commits, causes to be committed, or attempts to commit any crime and whose conduct is maliciously motivated by the victim's actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, ancestry, age, service in the U.S. Armed Forces, disability..., sexual orientation, or gender identity"
  • 13 Vt. Stat. Ann. § 1456: Criminal act to burn a cross or other religious symbol with the intent to terrorize or harass
  • 13 Vt. Stat. Ann. § 1457: Victims may bring civil cases against perpetrators, independent of criminal prosecution


Where to report hate crimes, in addition to local police:

FBI Field Office
FBI Albany (Serves Vermont)
200 McCarty Avenue
Albany, NY 12209
Phone: (518) 465-7551

State Attorney General’s Office
Vermont Attorney General’s Office
109 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05609-1001
802 828-3171
802 828-3665 (TTY)

Civil Rights unit
Phone number for Civil Rights Unit: (888)-745-9195

Virginia

Hate crimes laws:

  • Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-57: penalties for assault when the victim is chosen based on "race, religious conviction, color or national origin"
  • Va. Code Ann. § 18.2.127: misdemeanor to deface a place of worship
  • Va. Code Ann. § 18.2.138: misdemeanor to break the door or window of a place of worship
  • Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-423: felony to burn a cross with intent to intimidate (prima facie clause has been declared unconstitutional, but is severable from the rest of the statute.  See Elliott v. Commonwealth, 267 Va. 464 (2004))
  • Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-423.01: felony to burn other objects with intent to intimidate
  • Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-423.1: felony to place a swastika on places of worship or "on any school, educational facility or community center owned or operated by a church or religious body" with intent to intimidate 
  •  Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-423.2: felony to display a noose on the property of another or on public property with intent to intimidate
  • Va. Code Ann. § 52-8.5: requires the state police to collect data on hate crimes


Where to report hate crimes, in addition to local police:

FBI Field Offices
FBI Norfolk
509 Resource Row
Chesapeake, VA 23320
Phone: (757) 455-0100

FBI Richmond
1970 East Parham Road
Richmond, VA 23228
Phone: (804) 261-1044

FBI Washington DC (Includes Northern VA)
Washington Metropolitan Field Office
601 4th Street NW
Washington, DC 20535
Phone: (202) 278-2000

State Attorney General’s Office
Office of the Attorney General
900 East Main Street
Richmond, VA 23219
(804) 786-2071

Washington

Hate crimes laws:

  • Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9A.36.078: Statement of legislative intent about prevention of hate crimes and threats
  • Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9A.36.080: Criminal act of malicious harassement when a defendant commits an act "because of his or her perception of the victim's race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or mental, physical, or sensory handicap"; includes burden shifting for burning a cross on the property of a victim who is (or is percieved to be) of African American heritage and defacing the property of a victim who is (or is percieved to be) of Jewish ancestry with a swastika
  • Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.61.160: crime to threaten to bomb or otherwise injure certain kinds of property, inclusing places of worship
  • Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 36.28A.030: requires the state police to collect data on hate crimes 
  • Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 43.101.290: Requires training for law enforcement officers about hate crimes

Where to report hate crimes, in addition to local police:
FBI Field Office
FBI Seattle
1110 3rd Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101-2904
Phone: (206) 622-0460

State Attorney General’s Office
Office of the Attorney General
1125 Washington St SE
Po Box 40100
Olympia, WA 98504
Phone: (360) 753-6200
 

West Virginia

Hate crimes laws:

  • W. Va. Code Ann. § 61-6-21: felony to "by force or threat of force, willfully injure, intimidate or interfere with, or attempt to injure, intimidate or interfere with, or oppress or threaten any other person in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him or her by the Constitution or laws of the state of West Virginia or by the Constitution or laws of the United States, because of such other person's race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, political affiliation or sex" or conspire to do the same.  Motivation to commit a felony based on the same is an aggravating factor in sentencing.


Where to report hate crimes, in addition to local police:
FBI Field Office
FBI Pittsburgh (Serves West Virginia)
3311 East Carson Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
Phone: (412) 432-4000

State Attorney General’s Office
Office of the Attorney General
Main Office
Administration
State Capitol Complex,
Bldg. 1, Room E-26
Charleston, WV 25305
Phone: (304) 558-2021
 

Wisconsin

Hate crimes laws:

  • Wis. Stat. § 939.645: enhanced penalties if a defendant chooses a victim "in whole or in part because of the actor's belief or perception regarding the race, religion, color, disability, sexual orientation, national origin or ancestry of that person or the owner or occupant of that property, whether or not the actor's belief or perception was correct."
  • Wis. Stat. § 943.012: Felony to deface certain property, including places of worship, "Any school, educational facility or community center publicly identified as associated with a group of persons of a particular race, religion, color, disability, sexual orientation, national origin or ancestry or by an institution of any such group." 

Where to report hate crimes, in addition to local police:
FBI Field Office
FBI Milwaukee
330 E. Kilbourn Ave, Suite 600
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Phone: (414) 276-4684

State Attorney General’s Office + Other State Resources
Wisconsin Department of Justice
P.O. Box 7857
Madison, WI 53707-7857
Phone: (608) 266-1221

Wisconsin Victim Helpline: (800) 446-6564

Wyoming

Hate crimes laws:

  • Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 6-9-102: misdemeanor to "den[y] the right to life, liberty, pursuit of happiness or the necessities of life because of race, color, sex, creed or national origin."


Where to report hate crimes, in addition to local police:
FBI Field Offices
FBI Denver
8000 East 36th Avenue
Denver, CO 80238
Phone: (303) 629-7171

FBI Salt Lake City 
5425 West Amelia Earhart Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84116
Phone: (801) 579-1400
Please Note: All counties are covered by the FBI Field Office at Denver, Colorado except Yellowstone National Park which is covered by Salt Lake City, Utah.

State Attorney General’s Office
Office of the Attorney General
State Capitol Building, Room 123
200 W. 24th Street Cheyenne, WY  82002
Phone: (307) 777-7841