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Official Opinion 2001-11

Official Opinion 2001-11

December 31, 2001
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 my opinion concerning whether any of the following twelve misdemeanor offenses enacted during the 2001 Session of the General Assembly should be designated as offenses for which persons charged with violations are to be fingerprinted: O.C.G.A. § 40-6-397 (aggressive driving); O.C.G.A. § 21-2-414(g) (campaign activities at a polling place); O.C.G.A. § 27-1-3(i) (unlawful hunting, trapping, and fishing); O.C.G.A. § 27-1-3(j) (violation of suspension of right to hunt or fish); O.C.G.A. § 12-3-621 (disturbing archeological sites); O.C.G.A. § 12-5-133 (acting as a well water contractor without a license); O.C.G.A. § 45-11-4(b) (malpractice, malfeasance, or misfeasance in office); O.C.G.A. § 43-4B-25 (reselling of tickets); O.C.G.A.§ 43-14-14 (violation of electrical contractors licensing and certification laws); O.C.G.A. § 16-10-94 (tampering with evidence); O.C.G.A. § 27-4-133(a.1) (unlawful shrimp trawls); and O.C.G.A. § 27-3-1(c) (hunting on land of another without permission). In addition to the list of fingerprintable offenses mandated by statute, O.C.G.A. § 35-3-33(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. § 40-6-397. That Code section provides that “any person convicted of aggressive driving shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature.” Aggressive driving is defined as operating “any motor vehicle with the intent to annoy, harass, molest, intimidate, injure, or obstruct another person.” I hereby designate the violation of O.C.G.A. §40-6-397 as an offense for which those charged are to be fingerprinted.

The second misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 21-2-414(g). That Code section makes it a misdemeanor to violate the provisions of Title 21, Chapter 2, Article 11, regarding restrictions on campaign activities and public opinion polling within the vicinity of a polling place. In 1995 and 1998, this office designated misdemeanors arising under violations of O.C.G.A. § 21-2-414 as offenses for which those charged are not to be fingerprinted. That designation remains unchanged.

The third misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 27-1-3(i). That Code section provides that “[a] person who takes any wildlife in violation of this title commits the offense of theft by taking. A person who hunts, traps, or fishes in violation of this title commits the offense of criminal attempt. Any person who violates any provision of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.” The fourth misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 27-1-3(j). That Code section makes it a misdemeanor to hunt, fish, trap, possess or transport wildlife in violation of the suspension of the right to do so.

My predecessor previously designated misdemeanors arising under O.C.G.A. §§ 27-1-3 through 27-1-39 as fingerprintable offenses. See 1995 Op. Att’y Gen. 95-15. Therefore, I hereby designate the violation of O.C.G.A. § 27-1-3 (i) and O.C.G.A. § 27-1-3(j) as offenses for which those charged are to be fingerprinted.

The fifth misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 12-3-621. That Code section makes it a misdemeanor to violate subsection (a) or (b) of Title 12, Chapter 3, Article 9, regarding destroying, defacing, marring, or harming archeological, aboriginal, prehistoric, or historic sites, and notification of the state archeologist before disturbing or investigating such sites. I hereby designate the violation of O.C.G.A. § 12-3-621 as an offense for which those charged are to be fingerprinted.

The sixth misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 12-5-133. That Code section provides that any person who “engages in or follows the business or occupation of, or advertises, holds himself or herself out, or acts, temporarily or otherwise, as a water well contractor without first having secured the required license or renewal thereof or any person who otherwise violates any provisions of this part shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.” An offense resulting from the violation of this Code section does not appear to be an offense for which fingerprinting is required, and I am not, at this time, designating this offense as one which requires fingerprinting.

The seventh misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 45-11-4(b). That Code section provides that a public officer may be charged under Title 45, Chapter 11 for “(1) Malpractice, misfeasance, or malfeasance in office; (2) Using oppression or tyrannical partiality in the administration or under the color of his or her office; (3) When required by law, willfully refusing or failing to preside in or hold his or her court at the regular terms thereof, or when it is his or her duty under the law to do so; (3) Using any other deliberate means to delay or avoid the due course or proceeding of law; or (4) Willfully and knowingly demanding more cost than he or she is entitled to by law in the administration and under color of his or her office.” I hereby designate the violation of O.C.G.A. § 45-11-4(b) as an offense for which those charged are to be fingerprinted.

The eighth misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 43-4B-25. That Code section makes it a misdemeanor for any person other than a ticket broker to resell or offer for resale any ticket of admission or other evidence of the right of entry for any entertainment event to which the general public is admitted for a price in excess of the face value of the ticket. An offense resulting from the violation of this Code section does not appear to be an offense for which fingerprinting is required, and I am not, at this time, designating this offense as one which requires fingerprinting.

The ninth misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 43-14-14. That Code section makes it a misdemeanor to violate Title 43, Chapter 14, regarding licensing and certification of electrical contractors, plumbers, conditioned air contractors, low-voltage contractors, and utility contractors. An offense resulting from the violation of this Code section does not appear to be an offense for which fingerprinting is required, and I am not, at this time, designating this offense as one which requires fingerprinting.

The tenth misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 16-10-94. That Code section makes it a misdemeanor to destroy, alter, conceal, or disguise physical evidence or make, devise, prepare, or plant false evidence with the intent to prevent the apprehension or cause the wrongful apprehension of any person or to obstruct the prosecution or defense of any person regarding a misdemeanor. I hereby designate the violation of this Code section as an offense for which those charged are to be fingerprinted.

The eleventh misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 27-4-133(a.1). That Code section makes it a misdemeanor to trawl for shrimp for human consumption with any trawl or trawls having a total foot-rope length greater than 220 feet. An offense resulting from the violation of this Code section does not appear to be an offense for which fingerprinting is required, and I am not, at this time, designating this offense as one which requires fingerprinting.

The twelfth misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 27-3-1(c). That Code section makes it a misdemeanor to violate subsection (a) or (b) of Title 27, Chapter 3, Article 1, Part 1, regarding requirement of permission to hunt on lands of another. My predecessor had designated this as an offense for which those charged are to be fingerprinted in 1984. See 1984 Op. Att’y Gen. 84-44. However, it was later determined that the time necessary for transportation and fingerprinting of those arrested under this Code section was counter-productive. See 1987 Op. Att’y Gen. 87-21. Therefore, an offense resulting from the violation of this Code section does not appear to be an offense for which fingerprinting is required, and I am not, at this time, designating this offense as one which requires fingerprinting.

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:

KATHERINE EVANS
Assistant Attorney General