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Official Opinion 2008-1

Official Opinion 2008-1

February 26, 2008
To: 

Deputy Director, Georgia Crime Information Center

Re: 

Updating of crimes and offenses for which the GeorgiaCrimeInformationCenter is authorized to collect and file fingerprints.

You have requested my opinion on whether any of the following misdemeanor offenses enacted during the 2007 Session of the General Assembly should be designated as offenses for which persons charged with violations are to be fingerprinted.   Additionally, you have identified one statute that has not been previously addressed.  

Those offenses include: O.C.G.A. § 15‑11‑9.1(h)(2) (definitions; role and responsibilities of Court Appointed Special Advocate); O.C.G.A. § 40‑2‑39.1(g) (restrictions on sale or advertising of used motor vehicles displayed or parked); O.C.G.A. § 42‑5‑65(d) (victim photographs prohibited); O.C.G.A. § 45‑17‑20(b) (notaries public); O.C.G.A. § 45‑17‑20(a) (notaries public); and O.C.G.A. § 48‑4‑23(b) (restrictions on county tax commissioners and their employees regarding purchasing properties).

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. § 15‑11‑9.1(h)(2).  That Code section provides that it shall be a misdemeanor for any Court Appointed Special Advocate to disclose confidential information obtained during the course of his or her appointment. 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 second misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 40‑2‑39.1(g).  That Code section places restrictions upon the number of used motor vehicles that can be displayed or parked upon a property.  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. § 42‑5‑65(d).  That Code section provides that an inmate who is serving a sentence for a violation relating to crimes against the person shall be prohibited from possessing a photograph or other depiction of the victim of the offense for which the inmate is currently incarcerated where this photograph was part of the investigation or prosecution that led to the inmate’s conviction.  Inmates incarcerated for sexual offenses are prohibited from possessing any photographs or depictions of victims.    This office has previously opined as to other offenses by inmates 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 such offenses as ones which require fingerprinting because offenders would have already been subject to fingerprinting upon confinement in the prison.  See 1999 Op. Att’y Gen. 99‑17; 1987 Op. Att’y Gen. 87‑21.  Accordingly, I am not, at this time, designating this offense as one for which those charged are to be fingerprinted.

The fourth misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 45‑17‑20(b).  That Code section provides graduated penalties for persons who perform notarial services without complying with the provisions of the article.  I hereby designate any misdemeanor offenses arising under O.C.G.A. § 45‑17‑20(b) as offenses for which those charged are to be fingerprinted.

The fifth misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 45‑17‑20(a). That Code section provides that it shall be a misdemeanor to execute a notarial certificate containing a statement known by the notary to be false and to perform any action with an intent to deceive or defraud.  I hereby designate any misdemeanor offenses arising under O.C.G.A. § 45‑17‑20(a) as offenses for which those charged are to be fingerprinted.

The sixth misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 48‑4‑23(b).  That Code section provides that it shall be a misdemeanor for a tax commissioner or any person employed by the office of the tax commissioner working on behalf of the tax commissioner to acquire an interest in real property sold at public auction by the county for which such commissioner or employee serves for delinquent taxes.   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.

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:

DESTINY C. SMITH

Assistant Attorney General