Georgia Department of Law, from the office of Samuel S. Olens, Attorney General

Official Opinion 2013-4

December 31, 2013
To: 

Deputy Director

Georgia Crime Information Center

Re: 

Fingerprintable Offense Designation

You have requested, in your letter of September 19, 2013, my opinion concerning whether any of the following misdemeanor offenses enacted during the 2013 Session of the General Assembly should be designated as offenses for which persons charged with violations are to be fingerprinted. 

Those offenses include: O.C.G.A. § 2-8-104 (Any violation of Article 4 of Chapter 8 of Title 2, provisions of the Agricultural Commodity Commission for Georgia Grown Products); O.C.G.A. § 15-11-40(b) (Unauthorized access to confidential records/reports of child abuse); O.C.G.A. § 15‑11‑9.1(h) (Disclosure of confidential information by guardian ad litem, listed in your letter as O.C.G.A. § 15-11-58(g)); O.C.G.A. §§ 15‑11‑680 through 15‑11‑688 (Article 8 of Chapter 11 of Title 15, Parental Notification Act); O.C.G.A. §15‑11‑745(b) (Discrimination or retaliation against a person making a complaint or providing information to a child advocate); O.C.G.A. § 16-5-47 (Failure to post model notice with human trafficking hotline information in businesses and on the internet); O.C.G.A. § 16‑10‑24.4 (Willfully obstructing or hindering a park ranger in the lawful discharge of his or her official duties); O.C.G.A. § 16‑5‑102(b) (Threatening, intimidating, or attempting to intimidate a disabled adult, elder person or resident who is the subject of a report made pursuant to O.C.G.A.§ 30‑5‑4 or Chapter 8 of Title 31); O.C.G.A. § 16‑5‑102(c)(Willfully and knowingly obstructing or impeding an investigation conducted pursuant to O.C.G.A.§ 30-5-4 or Chapter 8 of Title 31); O.C.G.A.§ 16‑12‑100.1(d) (Electronically furnishing obscene material to minors when minor was at least 14 years of age and defendant was 18 years of age or younger); O.C.G.A.§ 16‑12‑100.2(3)(Computer or electronic pornography when minor was at least 14 years of age provided permission and defendant was 18 years of age or younger); O.C.G.A.§ 20‑1A‑39(g) (Early care learning facility licensee or director hiring or maintaining ineligible employee); O.C.G.A.§ 30‑5‑8 (Failure to report abuse of a disabled adult or elder person as required by O.C.G.A. § 30‑5‑4(a)(1), listed in your letter as O.C.G.A. § 30-5-1); O.C.G.A.§ 31‑7‑12.1(f) (Owning or operating an unlicensed personal care home in violation of O.C.G.A. § 31‑7‑12(b)); O.C.G.A. § 48‑5C‑1(d)(16) (Person knowingly and willfully failing to obtain a title for or register a motor vehicle); O.C.G.A.§ 50‑27‑82(b) (Other than owner, removing a current permit sticker from a coin operated amusement machine or location of machine); and O.C.G.A.§ 50‑27‑82(c) (Owns or operates a bona fide coin operated amusement machine without a license or permit sticker).

In addition to the list of fingerprintable offenses mandated by statute, O.C.G.A. § 35-3-33 (a)(1)(A)(v) provides that the Attorney General may designate any other offense as one for which those charged with violations are to be fingerprinted.

The first misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 2-8-104, violation of a provision of the Agricultural Commodity Commission for Georgia Grown Products.  That Code section provides that it shall be a misdemeanor to violate any provision of Article 4 of Chapter 8 of Title 2 of the Official Code of Georgia, or any provision of any marketing order duly issued by the commission under the same article.  An offense arising from a violation of one of these Code sections does not, at this time, appear to be an offense for which fingerprinting is required and I am not, at this time, designating these offense as ones for which those charged are to be fingerprinted.

The second misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 15-11-40(b).  That Code section provides that it shall be a misdemeanor for any person to authorize or permit any unauthorized person or agency to have access to confidential records or reports of child abuse.  Furthermore any person who knowingly and under false pretenses obtains or attempts to obtain confidential records or reports of child abuse or information contained therein shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.  I hereby designate any misdemeanor offenses arising under O.C.G.A. § 15-11-40(b) as offenses for which those charged are to be fingerprinted.

The third misdemeanor offense you listed is O.C.G.A. § 15-11-58(g).  However, it seems you intended to address O.C.G.A. §15-11-9.1(h), which provides that it shall be a misdemeanor for any Court Appointed Special Advocate (“CASA”) to disclose confidential information obtained during the course of his or her appointment, unless as provided in Section 49-5-41.  I hereby designate any misdemeanor offenses arising under O.C.G.A. § 15-11-9.1(h) as offenses for which those charged are to be fingerprinted.

The fourth misdemeanor offense is for violation of the Parental Notification Act, §§ 15‑11‑680 through 15‑11‑688.  O.C.G.A. §15‑11‑688 provides that it shall be a misdemeanor for any person to violate the Parental Notification Act or to encourage anyone to provide false information as a violation of the same.  I hereby designate any misdemeanor offenses arising from violation of the Parental Notification Act as offenses for which those charged are to be fingerprinted.

The fifth misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 15-11-745(b).  That Code section provides that it shall be a misdemeanor for any person in violation of 15-11-745(a) to discriminate or retaliate in any manner against any child, parent, guardian, or legal custodian of a child, employee of a facility, agency, institution or other type of provider, or any other person because of the making of a complaint or providing of information in good faith to the advocate or willfully interfere with the advocate in the performance of his or her official duties.  I hereby designate any misdemeanor offenses arising under O.C.G.A. § 15-11-745(b) as offenses for which those charged are to be fingerprinted.

The sixth misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 16-5-47.  That Code section provides that, after receiving written notice from a law enforcement officer, the owner of any business or establishment that has failed to comply with the notification requirements of this section within 30 days from the date of receipt of the notice shall be guilty of a misdemeanor offense of failure to post the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline number.  I hereby designate any misdemeanor offenses arising under O.C.G.A. § 16-5-47 as offenses for which those charged are to be fingerprinted.

The seventh misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 16-10-24.4.  Except as otherwise provided in subsection (c) of this section, O.C.G.A. § 16-10-24.4 (b) provides that it shall be a misdemeanor for a person knowingly and willfully to obstruct or hinder any park ranger in the lawful discharge of his or her official duties.  I hereby designate any misdemeanor offenses arising under O.C.G.A. § 16-10-24.4(b) as offenses for which those charged are to be fingerprinted.

The eighth misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 16-5-102.  Subsection (b) of that Code section provides that it shall be a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature for any person to threaten, intimidate, or attempt to intimidate a disabled adult, elder person, or resident who is the subject of a report made pursuant to Chapter 5 of Title 30 or Article 4 of Chapter 8 of Title 31, or any person cooperating with an investigation conducted pursuant to this section.  Subsection (c) of that Code section provides that it shall be a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature for any person to willfully and knowingly obstruct or in any way impede an investigation conducted pursuant to Chapter 5 of Title 30 or Article 4 of Chapter 8 of Title 31.  I hereby designate any misdemeanor offenses arising under O.C.G.A. § 16-5-102 (b) or § 16‑5‑102 (c) as offenses for which those charged are to be fingerprinted.

The ninth misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 16-12-100.1(d).  Subsection (d) of that Code section provides that any person who furnishes obscene material to a minor shall be guilty of a misdemeanor if: at the time of the offense, the minor receiving the obscene materials was at least 14 years of age; the receipt of the materials was with the permission of the minor; and the defendant was 18 years of age or younger.  I hereby designate any misdemeanor offenses arising under O.C.G.A. § 16‑12‑100.1 (d) as offenses for which those charged are to be fingerprinted.

The tenth misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 16-12-100.2(c)(3).  That Code section provides that it shall be a misdemeanor for any person to violate the Computer or Electronic Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention Act of 2007 if at the time of the offense, any identifiable child visually depicted was at least 14 years of age when the depiction was created; the visual depiction was created with permission of such child; the defendant possessed the visual depiction with the permission of the child; and the defendant was 18 years of age or younger at the time of the offense and: the defendant did not distribute the visual depiction to another person; or in the court’s discretion, and when the prosecuting attorney and defendant have agreed, if the defendant’s violation involved distribution but such distribution was not for the purpose of: harassing, intimidating, embarrassing the minor depicted; or for any commercial purpose.  I hereby designate any misdemeanor offenses arising under O.C.G.A. § 16‑12‑100.2 (c)(3) as offenses for which those charged are to be fingerprinted.

The eleventh misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 20-1A-39(g).  That Code section provides that it shall be a misdemeanor for a licensee or director of a facility to have an employee whom such licensee or director knows or should reasonably know to have a criminal record that renders the employee ineligible to have contact with children in the center.  I hereby designate any misdemeanor offenses arising under O.C.G.A. § 20-1A-39(g) as offenses for which those charged are to be fingerprinted.

The twelfth misdemeanor offense is for violations of O.C.G.A. § 30-5-8.  O.C.G.A. § 30‑5‑8 provides that it shall be a misdemeanor for any person to fail knowingly or willfully to report abuse of a disabled adult or elder person as required by O.C.G.A. § 30-5-4.  I hereby designate any misdemeanor offenses arising under O.C.G.A. § 30-5-8 as offenses for which those charged are to be fingerprinted.

The thirteenth misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 31-7-12.1(f).  That Code section provides that it shall be a misdemeanor for any person to own or operate a personal care home in violation of Code Section 31-7-12(b).  I hereby designate any misdemeanor offenses arising under O.C.G.A. § 31-7-12.1(f) as offenses for which those charged are to be fingerprinted.

The fourteenth misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 48-5C-1(d)(16).  That Code section provides that it shall be a misdemeanor for any person knowingly and willfully to fail to obtain a title for and register a motor vehicle in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 5C of Title 48.  An offense arising from a violation of this Code section does not, at this time, appear to be an offense for which fingerprinting is required and I am not, at this time, designating this offense as one for which those charged are to be fingerprinted.

The fifteenth misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 50-27-82.  Subsection (b) of that Code section provides that it shall be a misdemeanor for any person other than an owner to intentionally remove a current permit sticker from a bona fide coin operated amusement machine or from the location where the machine is located.  Subsection (c) of that Code section provides that it shall be a misdemeanor for any person to own or operate bona fide coin operated amusement machines without a current master license or without a permit sticker on display. 

I hereby designate any misdemeanor offenses arising under O.C.G.A. § 50-27-82(b) or § 50‑27‑82 (c) as offenses for which those charged are to be fingerprinted.

I trust that my revisions of the specific designations of those offenses for which persons charged with violations are to be fingerprinted will aid you in discharging your duties pursuant to the Georgia Crime Information Act. 

Prepared by:

Mindy Park

Assistant Attorney General