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Official Opinion 99-17

Official Opinion 99-17

December 15, 1999
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 thirteen misdemeanor offenses enacted during the 1999 Session of the General Assembly should be designated as offenses for which persons charged with violations are to be fingerprinted: O.C.G.A. § 7-1-1019(2); O.C.G.A. § 15-14-36; O.C.G.A. § 27-4-151; O.C.G.A. § 30-5-8(a)(1); O.C.G.A. § 30-5-8(b)(1); O.C.G.A. § 42-4-13(c)(1); O.C.G.A. § 42-4-13(d)(1)(B); O.C.G.A. § 42-4-13(e); O.C.G.A. § 42-4-13(f)(2); O.C.G.A. § 42-4-13(g); O.C.G.A. § 42-4-13(h); O.C.G.A. § 43-11-51; and O.C.G.A. § 48-11-23.1. 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 thirteen misdemeanor offenses is O.C.G.A. § 7-1-1019(2). That Code Section makes it a misdemeanor to violate the non-felony provisions of Article 13, Chapter 1, Title 7 regarding the licensing of mortgage lenders and brokers. See O.C.G.A. § 7-1-1019(1) (listing felony provisions). In 1995, this office designated said misdemeanor as an offense for which those charged are not to be fingerprinted. See 1995 Op. Att'y Gen. 95-17. This designation remains unchanged.

The second misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 15-14-36. That Code Section makes it a misdemeanor to violate the provisions of the Court Reporter Certification 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 third misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 27-4-151. That Code Section makes it a misdemeanor for a person to engage in unlawful commercial crabbing. 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 fourth misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 30-5-8(a)(1). That Code Section makes it a misdemeanor for any person to abuse, neglect, or exploit any disabled adult or elder person. I hereby designate the violation of O.C.G.A. § 30-5-8(a)(1) as an offense for which those charged are to be fingerprinted.

The fifth misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 30-5-8(b)(1). That Code Section makes it a misdemeanor for any person or official to knowingly and willfully fail to report a case of disabled adult or elder person abuse when required to do so by O.C.G.A. § 30-5-4(a)(1). I hereby designate the violation of O.C.G.A. § 30-5-8(b)(1) as an offense for which those charged are to be fingerprinted.

The sixth “new” misdemeanor offense for which you have requested my review is O.C.G.A. § 42-4-13(c)(1). That Code Section makes it a misdemeanor for an inmate of a jail to possess any alcoholic beverage. This offense is not a new misdemeanor as it was enacted during the 1987 Session of the General Assembly. 1987 Ga. Laws 611, § 1. Furthermore, this office has previously opined that since O.C.G.A. § 35-3-33(1)(C) requires that persons confined in any prison, penitentiary, or other penal institution are to be fingerprinted, it is unnecessary to designate this offense as one which requires fingerprinting as such offenders would have already been subject to fingerprinting upon confinement in the jail. See 1987 Op. Att’y Gen. 87-21. This designation remains unchanged. However, in the event a person is charged with attempting, conspiring, or soliciting another to violate this Code Section as prohibited by O.C.G.A. § 42-4-13(h) and is not already incarcerated within the facility in which the offense is alleged to have occurred, I hereby designate this as an offense for which those charged are to be fingerprinted. On the other hand, to the extent the person charged is already incarcerated, it is unnecessary to designate this “attempt” offense as one which requires fingerprinting.

The seventh misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 42-4-13(d)(1)(B). That Code Section makes it a misdemeanor for any person, with the exception of clergy or priests engaged in sacramental services, to come inside the guard lines of any jail with, or to give or have delivered to an inmate of a jail, any alcoholic beverage without the knowledge and consent of the jailer or a law enforcement officer. To the extent the accused is not already incarcerated within the facility in which the offense is alleged to have occurred, I hereby designate this as an offense for which those charged are to be fingerprinted. On the other hand, to the extent the person charged is already incarcerated, it is unnecessary to designate this offense as one which requires fingerprinting as the offender would have already been subject to fingerprinting upon confinement in the jail. Furthermore, those charged with attempting, conspiring, or soliciting another to violate this Code Section under O.C.G.A. § 42-4-13(h) are hereby designated as persons to be fingerprinted to the extent they are not already incarcerated within the facility where the offense is alleged to have occurred.

The eighth misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 42-4-13(e). That Code Section makes it a misdemeanor “for any person to obtain, to procure for, or to give to an inmate, or to bring within the guard lines, any other article or item without the knowledge and consent of the jailer or a law enforcement officer.” To the extent the accused is not already incarcerated within the facility in which the offense is alleged to have occurred, I hereby designate this as an offense for which those charged are to be fingerprinted. On the other hand, to the extent the person charged is already incarcerated, it is unnecessary to designate this offense as one which requires fingerprinting as the offender would have already been subject to fingerprinting upon confinement in the jail. Furthermore, those charged with attempting, conspiring, or soliciting another to violate this Code Section under O.C.G.A. § 42-4-13(h) are hereby designated as persons to be fingerprinted to the extent they are not already incarcerated within the facility where the offense is alleged to have occurred.

The ninth misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 42-4-13(f)(2). That Code Section makes it a misdemeanor “for any person to come inside the guard lines or be within any jail while under the influence of alcohol without the knowledge and consent of the jailer or a law enforcement officer.” 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. Furthermore, the offense of attempting, conspiring, or soliciting another to violate this Code Section under O.C.G.A. § 42-4-13(h) is not designated as one which requires fingerprinting.

The tenth misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 42-4-13(g). That Code Section makes it a misdemeanor “for any person to loiter where inmates are assigned after having been ordered by the jailer or a law enforcement officer to desist therefrom.” I hereby designate the violation of O.C.G.A. § 42-4-13(g) as an offense for which those charged are to be fingerprinted. Furthermore, the offense of attempting, conspiring, or soliciting another to violate this Code Section under O.C.G.A. § 42-4-13(h) is also designated as one which requires fingerprinting.

The eleventh misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 42-4-13(h). That Code Section makes it a misdemeanor for any person to attempt, conspire, or solicit another to commit any offense defined by O.C.G.A. § 42-4-13. These designations have been previously set forth above.

The twelfth misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 43-11-51. That Code Section makes it a misdemeanor for any person, firm, partnership, corporation, or other entity to practice dentistry or perform any dental operation under the protection of another’s license. 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 thirteenth and final misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 48-11-23.1. That Code Section makes it a misdemeanor for any person to sell or hold for sale cigarette packages to which a tax stamp has been unlawfully affixed. 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:

J. JAYSON PHILLIPS
Assistant Attorney General