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Official Opinion 97-33

Official Opinion 97-33

December 23, 1997
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 six misdemeanor offenses enacted during the 1997 Session of the General Assembly should be designated as offenses for which persons charged with violations are to be fingerprinted: O.C.G.A. § 4-4-181; O.C.G.A. § 16-10-98; O.C.G.A. § 19-13-23 (a); O.C.G.A. § 20-2-690 (d); O.C.G.A. § 25-11- 16(d); and O.C.G.A. § 40-2-136 (b). In addition to the list of fingerprintable offenses mandated by statute, O.C.G.A. § 35-3-33 (1)(A)(ii) provides that the Attorney General may designate any other offense as one for which those charged with violations are to be fingerprinted.

The first of the six misdemeanor offenses is O.C.G.A. § 4-4-181. That Code Section makes it a misdemeanor to violate a provision of the Deer Farming Act, which regulates as an agricultural operation the importation, production, and control of farmed deer. An offense resulting from the violation of the Act 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 next misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 16-10-98. That Code Section makes it a misdemeanor for a judge, prosecuting attorney, investigating officer, or law enforcement officer who is a witness to receive or agree to receive remuneration for publishing a book or article, making a public appearance, or participating in any commercial activity concerning a criminal case during the period of time between indictment and the completion of direct appeal. 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 third misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 19-13-23 (a). That Code Section provides that “[a]ny person who knowingly publishes, disseminates, or otherwise discloses the location of a family violence shelter is guilty of a misdemeanor.” A family violence shelter is a facility “receiving, on a temporary basis, persons who are subject to family violence.” O.C.G.A. § 19- 13-20(5). I hereby designate the violation of O.C.G.A. § 19-13-23 (a) as an offense for which those charged are to be fingerprinted.

The fourth of the six misdemeanor offenses is O.C.G.A. § 20-2-690 (d). That Code Section makes it a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $100.00 fine to operate a private school or home school without complying with notification requirements regarding certain student enrollment information. 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 fifth misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 25-11-16 (d), which makes it a misdemeanor to fail to comply with an order of the Georgia Safety Fire Commissioner issued pursuant to the Georgia Fire Sprinkler Act. 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 sixth misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 40-2-136 (b). That Code Section provides that it shall be a misdemeanor for a person convicted of driving under the influence and required by court order to surrender his or her license plate to obtain a new license plate when his or her driver’s license has not been reissued or reinstated. I hereby designate the violation of this Code Section as an offense for which those charged are to be fingerprinted.

In addition, you have asked me to review the prior designations of O.C.G.A. §§ 17-6-12 and 42- 8-38 as fingerprintable offenses. Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 17-6-12 provides for the arrest of a person released on his or her own recognizance who fails to appear at trial. Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 42-8-38 provides for the arrest of a probationer for violating the terms and conditions of probation. You have inquired about the possibility of modifying the designation for failure to appear to include as fingerprintable only those instances involving a failure to appear for an offense which is itself fingerprintable. You have also inquired about the possibility of modifying the designation for violation of probation to include as fingerprintable only those instances where an adverse action is taken against the probationer. In order to maintain consistency in the treatment and reporting of persons arrested for these offenses, I am not, at this time, modifying the designation of these offenses.

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:

KYLE A. PEARSON
Assistant Attorney General