(1)(a) The penalty for any felony or misdemeanor shall be reclassified as provided in this subsection if the commission of such felony or misdemeanor evidences prejudice based on the race, color, ancestry, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, homeless status, or advanced age of the victim:
1. A misdemeanor of the second degree is reclassified to a misdemeanor of the first degree.
2. A misdemeanor of the first degree is reclassified to a felony of the third degree.
3. A felony of the third degree is reclassified to a felony of the second degree.
4. A felony of the second degree is reclassified to a felony of the first degree.
5. A felony of the first degree is reclassified to a life felony.
Terms Used In Florida Statutes 775.085
- Damages: Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
- Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
- Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
- Felony: A crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.
- Injunction: An order of the court prohibiting (or compelling) the performance of a specific act to prevent irreparable damage or injury.
- Misdemeanor: Usually a petty offense, a less serious crime than a felony, punishable by less than a year of confinement.
- person: includes individuals, children, firms, associations, joint adventures, partnerships, estates, trusts, business trusts, syndicates, fiduciaries, corporations, and all other groups or combinations. See Florida Statutes 88.6011
- Plaintiff: The person who files the complaint in a civil lawsuit.
(b) As used in paragraph (a), the term:
1. “Advanced age” means that the victim is older than 65 years of age.
2. “Homeless status” means that the victim:
a. Lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence; or
b. Has a primary nighttime residence that is:
(I) A supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations; or
(II) A public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.
(2) A person or organization that establishes by clear and convincing evidence that it has been coerced, intimidated, or threatened in violation of this section has a civil cause of action for treble damages, an injunction, or any other appropriate relief in law or in equity. Upon prevailing in such civil action, the plaintiff may recover reasonable attorney fees and costs.
(3) It is an essential element of this section that the record reflect that the defendant perceived, knew, or had reasonable grounds to know or perceive that the victim was within the class delineated in this section.