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

Official Opinion 2015-2

December 31, 2015
To: 

Deputy Director

Georgia Crime Information Center

Re: 

Updating of crimes and offenses for which the Georgia Crime Information Center is authorized to collect and file fingerprints.

You have requested, in your letter of September 18, 2015, my opinion concerning whether any of the following misdemeanor offenses enacted during the 2015 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 § 3‑3‑34 (manufacturing, using, purchasing, selling, and possessing powdered alcohol); O.C.G.A. § 9‑16‑8 (failure of a trustee with notice that a forfeiture lien has been filed against property to furnish the required information to the state attorney); O.C.G.A. § 16‑11‑107(c) (harming a law enforcement animal in the third degree, by use of a deadly weapon and which causes or is likely to cause serious physical injury to such animal); O.C.G.A. § 16‑11‑107(b) (harming a law enforcement animal in the fourth degree, by causing physical harm to such animal); O.C.G.A. § 16‑11‑40.1 (causing a minor to be identified as the individual in an obscene depiction); O.C.G.A. § 16‑12‑191 (possessing or controlling 20 fluid ounces or less of low THC oil without complying with the statute); O.C.G.A. § 20‑2‑317 (improperly encouraging and rewarding student athletes); O.C.G.A. § 36‑60‑25 (staging a vehicle for hire in the loading or curbside area of any business for the purpose of soliciting a fare); O.C.G.A. § 40‑1‑192 (failure of a transportation referral service or referral service provider to register with the department); O.C.G.A. § 40‑1‑193 (registration and additional requirements for ride share network services); O.C.G.A. § 40‑1‑194 (contracting with or referring carriers or drivers that are not properly insured, registered, or licensed); O.C.G.A. § 40‑1-195 (failure of ride share drivers to display the required sign in their vehicle while active on the ride share service’s network); O.C.G.A. § 40‑1‑196 (rates and bills charged by transportation services); O.C.G.A. § 40‑5‑121 driving while license is suspended or revoked); O.C.G.A. § 40‑5‑39 (requirements for operating a motor vehicle for hire); O.C.G.A. § 42‑3‑50 (use by an agency or community service officer of an offender for any purpose resulting in private gain); O.C.G.A.     § 42‑8‑109 (specification by entities providing probation services to particular alcohol or drug use programs); O.C.G.A. § 3‑3‑23.1(d) (custodial arrest of person for furnishing alcoholic beverages to a minor that is so intoxicated he poses a danger to himself or others). 

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. § 3‑3‑34.  This Code section provides that it shall be a misdemeanor to manufacture, use, offer for use, purchase, offer to purchase, sell, offer to sell, or possess powdered alcohol or to use it as an alcoholic beverage or to create an alcoholic beverage.  This office previously designated offenses related to purchasing, selling, using or possessing vaporized alcohol as offenses for which those charged are to be fingerprinted.  In order to promote consistency in the treatment of offenders, I hereby designate any misdemeanor offenses arising under O.C.G.A. § 3‑3‑34 as offenses for which those charged are to be fingerprinted.

The second misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 9‑16‑8.  This Code section provides that it shall be a misdemeanor for a trustee of property, who has notice that a forfeiture lien, a notice of pending forfeiture, or a complaint for forfeiture has been filed against the property or the against any person that holds tittle or appears as the owner of the property, to fail to furnish, within ten days of receiving such notice, contact information of the person or entity for the whom the property is being held, contact information of all the beneficiaries, and copy of the applicable trust agreement or instrument to the state attorney.  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 third misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 16‑11‑107(c), which is committed when an individual knowingly and intentionally and with a deadly weapon, or with any object, device, instrument, or body part, is likely to cause or actually does cause serious physical injury to a law enforcement animal while it is in the performance of its duties.  This offense is a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature and any person convicted of this offense shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than six nor more than 12 months, a fine not to exceed $5,000, or both.  I hereby designate any misdemeanor offenses arising under O.C.G.A. § 16‑11‑107(c) as offenses for which those charged are to be fingerprinted.

The fourth misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 16‑11‑107(b), which is committed when an individual knowingly and intentionally causes physical harm to a law enforcement animal while it is in the performance of its duties.  This offense is a misdemeanor of high and aggravated nature and any person convicted of this offense shall be punished by imprisonment not to exceed 12 months, a fine not to exceed $5,000, or both.  I hereby designate any misdemeanor offenses arising under O.C.G.A. § 16‑11‑107(b) as offenses for which those charged are to be fingerprinted.

The fifth misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 16‑11‑40.1.  This Code section makes it illegal to intentionally cause a minor to be identified as the individual in an obscene depiction in such a manner that a reasonable person would conclude that the image depicted was that of such minor.  A person convicted of a first offense shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, but a person convicted of second or subsequent violation will be guilty of a felony.  I hereby designate any misdemeanor offenses arising under O.C.G.A. § 16‑11‑40.1 as offenses for which those charged are to be fingerprinted.

The sixth misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 16‑12‑191.  This Code section establishes when it is lawful to possess 20 fluid ounces or less of low THC oil, but provides that it is a misdemeanor to possess 20 fluid ounces or less of low THC oil without complying with the statute.  Georgia law provides that any offense involving marijuana or narcotics requires fingerprinting.  O.C.G.A. § 35‑3‑33.  In order to promote consistency in the treatment of offenders, I hereby designate any misdemeanor offenses arising under O.C.G.A. § 16‑12‑191 as offenses for which those charged are to be fingerprinted.

The seventh misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 20‑2‑317.  This Code section provides that it shall be a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature to give, offer, or promise to give any money or other thing of value to a student-athlete or a member of his or her immediate family, or to enter into or solicit a transaction with a student athlete if such person has knowledge that the transaction would likely cause the athlete to lose his athletic scholarship or the ability to participate on the athletic team or at competitions.  I hereby designate any misdemeanor offenses arising under O.C.G.A. § 20‑2‑317 as offenses for which those charged are to be fingerprinted.

The eighth misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 36‑60‑25.  This Code section provides that it shall be a misdemeanor for a vehicle for hire to stop or park in the loading or curbside area of any business for the purpose of soliciting a fare when such vehicle is not engaged in a prearranged round-trip or prearranged one-way fare.  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 ninth misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 40‑1‑192, which makes it a misdemeanor for a transportation referral service or a transportation referral service provider to fail to register with the department.  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 tenth misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 40‑1‑193.  This Code section requires that ride share network services register with the department, maintain a list of all drivers, ensure that all drivers possess required permits or licenses and are acting in compliance with the laws.  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 eleventh misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 40‑1‑194.  The Code section makes it a misdemeanor for a transportation referral service or transportation referral service provider to contract with or refer carriers or drivers that are not properly registered or licensed with the state, and for a person to contract with any such transportation referrals services without the proper licensing.  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 twelfth misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 40‑1-195.  This Code section provides that it shall be a misdemeanor for a ride share driver to fail to display a consistent and distinctive signage or emblem that is approved by the Department of Public Safety in the driver’s vehicle at all times while the driver is active on the ride share service’s network and that sufficiently identifies the vehicle as being associated with the ride share service.  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 thirteenth misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 40‑1‑196, which concerns calculating rates and fares for transportation services and providing bills to customers.  A violation of the Code Section is a misdemeanor.  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 fourteenth misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 40‑5‑121.  This Code section makes it unlawful to drive with a suspended or revoked driver’s license.  As this office has previously designated offenses arising from violations of this Code section as offenses for which those charged are to be fingerprinted, I hereby designate any misdemeanor offenses arising under the amended version of O.C.G.A. § 40‑5‑121 as offenses for which those charged are to be fingerprinted.  

The fifteenth misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 40‑5‑39, which provides that a person operating a motor vehicle for hire has a for-hire license endorsement and liability insurance, has completed a background check, and complies with all requirements in the statute.  The Code section provides that any person violating the statute will be guilty of a misdemeanor.  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 sixteenth misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 42‑3‑50.  This Code section provides that it shall be a misdemeanor for an agency or community service officer to use an offender for any purpose resulting in private gain to any individual.  I hereby designate any misdemeanor offenses arising under O.C.G.A. § 42‑3‑50 as offenses for which those charged are to be fingerprinted. 

The seventeenth misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 42‑8‑109.  This Code section provides that it is a misdemeanor for any private corporation, enterprise, or agency contracting to provide probation services to specify particular DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Programs which a probationer may attend.  I hereby designate any misdemeanor offenses arising under O.C.G.A. § 42‑8‑109 as offenses for which those charged are to be fingerprinted.

The eighteenth misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 3‑3‑23.1(d).  This Code section provides that an officer may make a custodial arrest of a person violating O.C.G.A. § 3‑3‑23, related to furnishing alcohol to a minor, if he or she is intoxicated to the extent that he or she poses a danger to himself or herself or to the person or property of another.  As this office has previously designated offenses arising from violations of this O.C.G.A. § 3‑3‑23 as offenses for which those charged are to be fingerprinted, I hereby designate any misdemeanor offenses arising from the O.C.G.A. § 3‑3‑23.1(d) amendment 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:

 

Rebecca Dobras

Assistant Attorney General