You are here

Official Opinion 2009-1

Official Opinion 2009-1

January 8, 2009
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, in your letter of October 1, 2008, my opinion concerning whether any of the following misdemeanor offenses enacted during the 2008 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. § 3‑3‑33 (restrictions on purchase, sale, or use of vaporized form of alcoholic beverages and alcohol vaporizing devices); O.C.G.A. § 4‑8‑6.1 (restrictions on removal of certain collars from dogs); O.C.G.A. § 16‑8‑5.2 (retail property fencing); O.C.G.A. § 16‑12‑37(c) (spectator at any place for the fighting of dogs); O.C.G.A. § 16‑13‑30.6(c) (purchase and sale of marijuana-flavored products); O.C.G.A. § 36‑60‑26 (restrictions on issuance of backdated licenses, permits, or other authorizing documents); O.C.G.A. § 38‑3‑142 (prohibitions on use of agency name without written permission); O.C.G.A. § 38‑3‑143 (prohibitions on use or display of agency symbols without written permission); O.C.G.A. § 40‑5‑20 (driving without a valid license); O.C.G.A. § 40‑5‑121 (driving while license suspended or revoked); O.C.G.A. § 45‑7‑32(a) (unlawful use of travel advance received from public funds; fraudulent request for reimbursement of expenses valued at less than $500 in the aggregate); O.C.G.A. § 50‑5‑80(b) (unlawful use of resources or methods of state purchasing to obtain anything of value for personal benefit or gain); and O.C.G.A. § 50‑5‑83(c) (misuse of state purchasing card by employee of a department or agency).

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. § 3‑3‑33.  That Code section provides that it shall be a misdemeanor to purchase, offer for sale or use, sell, or use any vaporized form of an alcoholic beverage produced by an alcohol vaporizing device, and it is also a misdemeanor to own or possess any alcohol vaporizing device.  I hereby designate any misdemeanor offenses arising under O.C.G.A. § 3‑3‑33 as offenses for which those charged are to be fingerprinted.

The second misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 4‑8‑6.1.  That Code section places restrictions upon the removal of a dog’s collar with the intention of preventing the dog’s owner from locating such dog, without permission of the dog’s owner.  I hereby designate any misdemeanor offenses arising under O.C.G.A. § 4‑8‑6.1 as offenses for which those charged are to be fingerprinted.

The third misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 16‑8‑5.2.   That Code section provides that it shall be a misdemeanor to knowingly buy, sell, transfer, or possess with the intent to sell or transfer retail property that such person knows or should have known was stolen.  I hereby designate any misdemeanor offenses arising under O.C.G.A. § 16‑8‑5.2 as offenses for which those charged are to be fingerprinted.  

The fourth misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 16‑12‑37(c).  That Code section provides graduated penalties for persons who are knowingly present only as spectators at any place for the fighting of dogs.  I hereby designate any misdemeanor offenses arising under O.C.G.A. § 16‑12‑37(c) as offenses for which those charged are to be fingerprinted.

The fifth misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 16‑13‑30.6(c). That Code section provides that it shall be a misdemeanor to knowingly sell, transfer, or possess with the intent to sell or transfer to a minor marijuana-flavored products.  I hereby designate any misdemeanor offenses arising under O.C.G.A. § 16‑13‑30.6(c) as offenses for which those charged are to be fingerprinted.

The sixth misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 36‑60‑26.  That Code section provides that it shall be unlawful for any county, municipal corporation, or other issuing authority to issue any backdated license, permit or other authorizing document in any territorial or geographic area which is no longer within the regulatory jurisdiction of said issuing authority.  The section further makes it a misdemeanor for any county employee or municipal corporation employee to knowingly violate the provisions of the section.  I hereby designate any misdemeanor offenses arising under O.C.G.A. § 36‑60‑26 as offenses for which those charged are to be fingerprinted.

The seventh misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 38‑3‑142.  That Code section provides that it shall be a misdemeanor to knowingly and without permission from the director of such agency use the words “Georgia Emergency Management Agency,” “Emergency Management Agency,” or “GEMA” in connection with any publications or productions in a manner calculated to convey the impression that such publication or production is endorsed by or associated with such agency.  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 eighth misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 38‑3‑143.  That Code section provides that it shall be a misdemeanor to use or display any symbol currently or previously used by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency without written permission from the director of such agency.  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. § 40‑5‑20.   That Code section provides that it shall be a misdemeanor to drive without a valid driver’s license.  This office has previously opined that this offense is a misdemeanor for which those charged are to be fingerprinted.  See 2008 Op. Att’y Gen. 2008-6. 

The tenth misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 40‑5‑121.   That Code section provides graduated penalties for persons who drive with a suspended or revoked driver’s license.  This office has previously opined that this offense is a misdemeanor for which those charged are to be fingerprinted.  See 2008 Op. Att’y Gen. 2008-6. 

The eleventh misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 45‑7‑32(a).  That Code section provides that it shall be a misdemeanor to use any travel advance received from public funds for nongovernmental purposes or to knowingly submit or approve a fraudulent request to the state for reimbursement of expenses.    I hereby designate any misdemeanor offenses arising under O.C.G.A. § 45‑7‑32(a) as offenses for which those charged are to be fingerprinted.

The twelfth misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 50‑5‑80(b).  That Code section provides that it shall be a misdemeanor for any person to obtain for his or her own personal benefit, or the benefit of another person, any goods, services, or other things of value through any resource or method of state purchasing.  I hereby designate any misdemeanor offenses arising under O.C.G.A. § 45‑7‑32(a) as offenses for which those charged are to be fingerprinted.

The thirteenth misdemeanor offense is O.C.G.A. § 50‑5‑83(c).  That Code section provides that it shall be a misdemeanor for an employee of a state department or agency to knowingly use a purchasing card for personal gain, purchase unauthorized items on a purchasing card, purchase items in violation of that code section, and retain for such employee’s personal use a rebate or refund from a vendor or financial institution for a purchase or the use of a purchasing card.  I hereby designate any misdemeanor offenses arising under O.C.G.A. § 50‑5‑83(c) 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:

DESTINY S. WASHINGTON

Assistant Attorney General