GeorgiaGeorgia

Crimes and Penalties in Georgia

Authored By: Carl Vinson Institute of Government, University of Georgia
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Information

CRIME

DEFINITIONPUNISHMENT
CRIMES AGAINST THE PERSON
HomicideAn unlawful killing or causing the death of a human being by another human being.
MurderA homicide committed with malice aforethought (that is, the murderer planned or intended to kil the victim).Death or life imprisonment
Felony MurderA homicide committed while committing a felony (for example, armed robbery or rape).Death or life imprisonment
Voluntary ManslaughterA homicide committed when the person acts as the result of a "sudden, violent, and irresistable passion" resulting from provocation sufficient to cause it (for example, a homicide resulting from a family quarrel)1 - 20 years
Involuntary Manslaughter

A homicide committed unintentionally while committing an unlawful act other than a felony (for example, a homicide accidentally resulting from someone firing a gun in the city limits, a misdemeanor).

OR a homicide committed unintentionally by committing a lawful act in an unlawful manner likely to cause death or serious bodily harm.

1-10 years

As misdemeanor**

Vehicular Homicide(See "crimes involving vehicles")
Kidnapping

The abducting or stealing away of any person without lawful authority and the hoding of that person against his or her will.

Kidnapping a person for ransom or injuring the person kidnapped.

10-20 Years

Life imprisonment

Simple AssaultAn attempt to violently injure onothr or an act that makes another fear immediate violent injury.As misdemeanor.*
Aggravated Assault

Assault with intent to murder, rape, or rob with a deadly weapon.

If victim is 65 or over.

If victim is a police officer.

1-20 years

3-20 years

5-20 years

Simple BatteryPhysically harming anothr intentionally or "making physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature."As misdemeanor.
Aggravated Battery

Maliciously harming another by depriving the person of a member of body, rendering member of body useless, or seriously disfiguring body or a member thereof.

If victim is 65 or over.

If victim is a police officer.

1-20 years

3-20 years

5-20 years

CRIMES AGAINST THE STATE

Treason

A breach of one's duty of allegiance to one's state or country. Levying war against the state or country or giving aid or comfort to the enemies of the state or country

15 years - life imprisonment

CRIMES AGAINST OR IN RELATION TO PROPERTY

Arson

Knowingly damaging or causing another person to damage certain sttructures by means of fire or explosives.

First Degree: Harm to a place where people live or damage to a building that has a security interest or is insured.

Second Degree: Harm to other types of property (that is, other buildings, vehicles, watercraft, aircraft, etc.)

Third Degree: damange to personal property valued at $25 or greater by fire or explosion.

1-20 years or up to $50,000 fine or both

1-10 years or up to $25,000 fine or both

1-5 year or up to $10,000 fine or both

Trespassing

Essentially, entreing upon the premises or land or vehicle (for example auto, railroad car, aircraft, or watercraft) of another knowingly and without authority for an unlawful purpose or after being forbidden to do so. Trespass can also be not leaving when notified to leave another's property.

Intentionally damaging the property of another (damages of $500 or less) or interfering with another's holding or use of property. In both cases, the acts would be without consent of the property holder.

As misdemeanor.*

As misdemeanor.*

CRIMES INVOLVING SEXUAL OFFENSES
Forcible RapeOccurs when a person has carnal knowledge (sexual intercourse) by force against the victim's will. 10-20 years or life imprisonment or life without parole or death
Statutory Rape

Occurs when a person engages in sexual intercourse with anothe runder the age of 16, not his/her spouse, even when there is consent.

Occurs when the victim is 14 or 15 and the offender is no more than 3 years older than the victim.

1-20 years

As misdemeanor.*

ProstitutionOffering, performing, or consenting to sexual intercourse for money.As misdemeanor.*
CRIMES INVOLVING THEFTNote: Judge may treat any theft crime as a misdemeanor.
Armed RobberyTaking the property of another when the offender uses a weapon.10-20 years or life imprisonment
Burglary

Entering to the building of another without consent and with the intent to commit a felony or theft therein.

First Offense

Second Offense

Third Offense

1-20 years

2-20 years

5-20 years

Robbery

Taking the property of another by force, intimidation, or sudden snatching.

If victim is 65 or older:

1-20 years

5 - 20 years

Theft by Conversion

Occurs when, having lawfully obtained money or property of another under an agreement to do something specific with it, a person knowingly converts it (takes it) for his or her own use.

If amount in question is greater than $500.

As misdemeanor. *

1 - 10 years

Theft of Lost or Mislaid property

Occurs when person comes into control of property that he or she knows or discovers has been lost or mislaid and takes it for him- or herself and appropriates it without taking responsible measures to restore the property to its owner.

If the value of the property is greater than $500.

As misdemeanor. *

1 - 10 years

Theft by Taking

Occurs when a person unlawfully takes or, after being in lawful possession of, unlawfully appropriates (takes, keeps), the property of another with the intention of depriving that person of the property.

If the value of the property is greater than $500.

As misdemeanor.*

1 - 10 years

Theft by Receiving Stolen Property

Occurs when a person receives, disposes of, or retains stolen property that he or she knows or should know was stolen unless done with the intent to return it to its owner.

If the value of the property is greater than $500.

As misdemeanor.*

1 - 10 years

Theft by Shoplifting

Occurs when a person alone or with another intentionally takes merchandise for his or her own use without paying for it and
-- conceals or takes possession of merchandise of any store
-- alters the price of any merchandise in any store
-- transfers the merchandise of a store from one container to another
-- interchanges a label or price tag form one item of merchandise to another
-- wrongfully causes amount paid for merchandise to be less htan the merchant's stated price.

Occurs when property subject to the theft is valued at $300 or less.

Fourth conviction

Occurs when property subject to the theft is valued at more than $300.

As misdemeanor. *

1 - 10 years

1-10 years

CRIMES INVOLVING FORGERY AND RELATED OFFENSES
Forgery

Occurs when a person, with intent to defraud or deceive, knowingly makes, alters, or possesses any writing using a fictitious name or so that it looks as if it was written by another. Note: Works of art, like paintings, can be forged as well as checks, deeds, etc.

First Degree: Delivering as well as making a forgery (for example, presenting a forged check for payment).

Second Degree: Making or possessing a foreged document but not delivering the forged document.

1 - 10 years

1-5 years

Financial Transactions (Credit Card Fraud)Occurs when a person, with the intent to defraud, possesses, takes oruses unlawfully the credit card of another.1-2 years or $1,000 fine or both
Issuing a Bad Check

Occurs when a person writes a check knowing there are insufficient funds in the account.

If amount is $500 or less.

If amount is over $500.

As misdemeanor.*

1-3 years or fine or both.

CRIMES INVOLVING VEHICLES
Vehicular Homicide

First Degree: Occurs when a person, without malice aforethought, causes a death by committing certain traffic offenses, including hit-and-run, driving under the influence, reckless driving, or while fleeing a police car.

Second Degree: An unintended death resulting from a traffic offense orther than those described in first degree offense.

3-15 years

As misdemeanor.*

DUI

Driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol, certain inhalants, or any combination of two or more of these substances.

First or Second Offense

Third, Subsequent Offenses

As misdemeanor*

High and aggravated misdemeanor.

Reckless DrivingDriving in reckless disregard for the safety of persons or propertyAs misdemeanor*
CRIMES AGAINST PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
PerjuryKnowingly making a false statement material to the issue when under oathNot more than $1,000 and/or 1 - 10 years
False SwearingMaking a falst statement on a document when under oath (for example, making a falst statement after being sworn before a notary public)Not more than $1,000 and/or 1 - 5 years
BriberyOffering a public official something of value with the intent of influencing him or her, or the functions of his/her office.Not more than $1,000 and/or 1 - 20 years
False Alarm

Making a false fire alarm.

Making a false public alarm (as of a bomb).

As misdemeanor*

1-5 years

CRIMES AGAINST PUBLIC ORDER AND SAFETY
Carrying a Concealed Weapon

Carrying a handgun in a concealed manner without a permit (except in one's home, business, or glove compartment or console of a car) or carrying a handgun with a permit in certain public place. (This law does not apply to police.) Even when there is a permit, a weapon may only be concealed in certain ways.

First Offense

Second Offense

As misdemeanor*

2-5 years

RiotingTwo ore more persons committing an ulawful act of violenceAs misdemeanor*
AffrayFighting by two or more persons in a public place, in disturbance of public tranquilityAs misdemeanor*
Terroristic ThreatThreatening to commit violent crime or to burn or damage property with intent to terrorize another or to cause evacuation of a buildingUp to $1,000 and/or 1 - 5 years
DISCHARGING FIREARMSDischarging a firearm on or within 50 yards of a public highway or street or on someone else's property without permission or legal justification.As misdemeanor*
DRUG OFFENSESGeorgia law classifies drugs (except marijuana in its unrefined state) into five classes
Schedule I and II Drugs

Considered the most dangerous. Included are methadone, LSD, opium, heroin, cocaine, amphetamines, Quaaludes, THC and PCP ("angel dust")

Possession
First Offense
Second Offense

Possession with intent to sell or selling
First Offense
Second Offense

2-15 years
5-30 years


5-30 years
10-40 years or life imprisonment

CocaineTrafficking (selling, manufacturing, delivering, or possessing 28 grams or more of cocaine with at least 10 percent purity)
Schedule III, IV, and V DrugsIncluded are valium, uppers and downers, phenobarbital, etc.

Possession

Possession with intent to sell or selling
First Offense
Second Offense

1-5 years


1-5 years
1-10 years

Marijuana

Possession of 1 oz. or less

Possession of over 1 oz but no more than 50 lbs.

Possession of over 50 lbs.

Misdemeanor*

1-10 years

Manditory minimum: 5 - 15 years and mandatory fine: $100,000 - $1 Million

*This is a partial list.

Note: This table lists general penalties in Georgia. It does not indicate all possible fines and forfeitures.

** All misdemeanors may be punished by incarceration in a local correctional facility for up to 12 months and/or a fine of up to $1000.

Last Review and Update: Jul 30, 2004