Legislative & Legal UpdatesThe Legislative Updates and Case Laws found on this page are intended for information and training purposes only. Law enforcement trainers, public safety agencies, and students are strongly encouraged to consult the opinions and full text of all cases and laws and to coordinate all legal inquiries or investigative matters to their agency’s legal adviser, local district attorney, or solicitor’s general for legal opinion.

House Bills

OCGA 40-5-57 (c)(1)(A) – Relating to suspension or revocation of the licenses

HB 23: To amend Title 40 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to motor vehicles and traffic, so as to change certain provisions relating to suspension or revocation of the licenses of habitually negligent or dangerous drivers and the point system; to change certain provisions relating to drivers’ exercise of due care; to prohibit use of wireless telecommunications devices by persons under 18 years of age with an instruction permit or Class D license while operating a motor vehicle; to provide penalties for violations; to provide for related matters; to provide for an effective date and applicability; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

OCGA 26-4-81 – Substitution of generic drugs for brand name drugs.

HB 194: To amend Code Section 26-4-81 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to substitution of generic drugs for brand name drugs, so as to provide that when a substitution is made certain information relative to the substitution must appear on the prescription label and be affixed to the container or an auxiliary label; to provide for related matters; to provide an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

OCGA 17-4-40 – Relating to persons who may issue warrants for arrest of offenders against penal laws and warrants requested by others and persons who may issue warrants for the arrest of law enforcement, peace officers, school teachers, or administrators.

HB 199: To amend Code Section 17-4-40 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to persons who may issue warrants for arrest of offenders against penal laws and warrants requested by others and persons who may issue warrants for the arrest of law enforcement or peace officers or school teachers or administrators, so as to provide judicial discretion for the provision of notice and a hearing for consideration of a warrant application made without probable cause; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

OCGA 17-10-2 – Relating to the death penalty generally; The period of review for the Supreme Court’s consideration of applications.

HB323: To amend Article 2 of Chapter 10 of Title 17 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the death penalty generally, so as to extend the period of review for the Supreme Court’s consideration of applications for pretrial proceedings in cases in which the death penalty is sought; to clarify provisions relating to the assistant to the Supreme Court; to provide for related matters; to provide for an effective date and applicability; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

OCGA 40-5-1, 40-5-2; and 40-5-21.1 – To amend provisions of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated relating to drivers and drivers’ licenses.

HB 396: To amend provisions of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated relating to drivers and drivers’ licenses; to amend Title 40 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to motor vehicles and traffic, so as to provide for definitions; to allow the commissioner of driver services to promulgate regulations limiting the retention of conviction and withdrawal information on a driving record; to modify the department’s use of the SAVE program; to provide that a driver’s license suspended in another state may be reinstated; to change the classifications for licenses issued to noncommercial classes of motor vehicles; to change requirements relating to the expiration and renewal of certain licenses; to provide that fees paid to counties for reporting information contained on the uniform citation form shall be subject to appropriations; to delete the requirement of notice by certified mail; to provide for proper handling of suspensions when multiple convictions are obtained; to require permit drivers to surrender their permits upon certain convictions; to revise the requirements for submission of fingerprints; to revise certain provisions relating to issuance of identification cards; to prohibit unauthorized scanning of licenses, permits, and identification cards; to provide that the international handicapped symbol shall be displayed on identification cards issued to persons with disabilities; to revise the requirements for formatting identification cards issued to persons with disabilities; to provide for electronic signatures on uniform traffic citations; to provide the department with the power to contract for goods and services; to amend Title 43 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to professions and businesses, so as to provide for fingerprinting of certain licensees; to amend Title 46 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to public utilities and transportation, so as to provide for fingerprinting of chauffeurs; to provide that every motor carrier subject to regulation by the Public Service Commission shall be provided information emphasizing that it is illegal to allow persons under the age of 21 to possess or consume alcoholic beverages while being transported; to provide for related matters; to provide an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

OCGA 15-11-01 and OCGA 24-9-3 – Juvenile proceedings; Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights.

HB 567: To amend Chapter 11 of Title 15, Title 17, and Article 3 of Chapter 9 of Title 24 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to juvenile proceedings, criminal procedure, and examination of witnesses, respectively, so as to expand provisions relative to victims’ participation in the court system in juvenile and state courts; to change provisions relating to victim impact statements in delinquency proceedings; to provide that victims may be present in juvenile court hearings; to require courts to hear victim impact testimony; to require the court to make a finding regarding restitution in sentencing every accused person; to add legislative findings to the “Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights”; etc…

OCGA 42-8-36 – Probationer must report residence; whereabouts, and violations.

HB 859: To amend Code Section 42-8-36 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the duty of probationer to inform probation supervisor of residence and whereabouts and violations, so as to clarify provisions relating to tolling of probated sentences when a probationer fails to report to probation or otherwise absconds; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

OCGA 17-6-1 and 17-6-12 – Bonds and recognizances; Where offenses are bailable and the term ‘bail’ shall include the releasing of a person on such person’s own recognizance.

HB889: To amend Article 1 of Chapter 6 of Title 17 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general provisions for bonds and recognizances, so as to limit recognizance bonds for persons charged with certain crimes and entering pretrial release, pretrial intervention, or pretrial diversion programs, except under certain circumstances; to change and provide for a definition; to amend Code Section 17-12-22 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the procedure for appointment of attorneys for indigent defendants in the event of a public defender’s conflict of interest, so as to clarify provisions relating to procedure; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

OCGA 17-10-7 – Punishment of persons; Repeat Offenders, and Fourth felony offense.

HB 901: To amend Code Section 17-10-7 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to punishment for repeat offenders, so as to change a provision relating to punishment of persons convicted of a fourth felony offense; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

OCGA 16-5-21 and 16-10-97 – Relating to aggravated assault; and relating to intimidation or injury of grand or petit jurors or court officers.

HB1002: To amend Title 16 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to crimes and offenses, so as to increase the punishment for certain crimes committed upon judges, attorneys, clerks and deputy clerks of court, court reporters, and probation officers; to change provisions relating to aggravated assault; to change provisions relating to intimidation or injury of grand or petit jurors or court officers; to change provisions relating to terroristic threats and acts; to change provisions relating to dissemination of information relating to terroristic acts; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

OCGA 15-11-30.3, 15-11-40.1, and 17-10-11 – Relating to commission of designated felony act of burglary by a child 15 years of age or older; and criminal procedure amendments

HB1104: To amend Chapter 11 of Title 15, Title 16, and Code Section 17-10-11 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to juvenile proceedings, crimes and offenses, and credit for time served in confinement, respectively, so as to change and create provisions relating to juvenile offenders; to provide for graduated sanctions and secure detention for children who violate the terms of their probation; to define terms; to provide for an administrative procedure for hearing alleged violations of probation; to correct cross-references and add smash and grab burglary to the list of acts constituting a designated felony; to change provisions relating to dispositions for delinquent children; to clarify provisions relating to juveniles receiving credit for time served; to extend a sunset date for secure confinement; to provide for the new offense of smash and grab burglary; to provide for the elements of the offense; to provide for penalties; to provide for smash and grab burglaries in the context of contributing to the delinquency of a minor; to provide for smash and grab burglaries as racketeering activity; to remove the exception for juvenile court credit for time served in Title 17; to provide for related matters; to provide for an effective date and applicability; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

OCGA 16, Chapter 15 and OCGA 17 – Street Gang prosecutions; Criminal procedure; State-wide criminal street gang data base

HB 1015: To amend Chapter 15 of Title 16 and Title 17 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating, respectively, to street gang terrorism and prevention and criminal procedure, so as to expand and change provisions relating to criminal street gangs and criminal gang activity; to clarify language in legislative findings and intent; to change provisions relating to what constitutes criminal gang activity; to change provisions relating to commission of offense admissible as evidence of existence of criminal street gang and criminal gang activity; to provide that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation shall be authorized to establish a state-wide criminal street gang data base, subject to funding availability; to require criminal gang offenses to be granted bail by a superior court judge; to provide that a person sentenced for violating the ‘Georgia Criminal Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act’ be supervised on probation for an extended period of time; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

OCGA 16-9-8 – Identity fraud, Businesses as Victim

HB 1016: To amend Article 8 of Chapter 9 of Title 16 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to identity fraud, so as to revise a term so as to include businesses as potential identity theft victims; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

OCGA 50, Chapter 1 – State agencies that issues permits, licenses, certificates; Lost or destroyed by natural disaster; replacements

HB 1019: To amend Chapter 1 of Title 50 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general provisions regarding state government, so as to provide that each state agency that issues permits, licenses, certificates, and identification cards to citizens of this state shall issue replacement permits, licenses, certificates, or identification cards without charge to citizens who apply for such replacement permits, licenses, certificates, or identification cards and who demonstrate that their original permits, licenses, certificates, or identification cards were lost or destroyed as the direct result of a natural disaster; to provide for related matters; to provide an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

OCGA 45-16-2 – Death investigations by coroners; Permit tests and examinations with forensic laboratory; Custody of objects and articles of the deceased.

HB 1095: To amend Article 2 of Chapter 16 of Title 45 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to death investigations by coroners, so as to permit tests and examinations to be conducted in cooperation with a forensic laboratory; to provide for the custody of objects and articles of the deceased; to provide for the retention of certain records of the medical examiner’s inquiry and the coroner’s investigation; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

OCGA 16-13-25 – Add synthetic cannabinoids known as synthetic marijuana or K2 to the Schedule I controlled substances list.

HB 1309: To amend Code Section 16-13-25 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to Schedule I controlled substances, so as to add synthetic cannabinoids known as synthetic marijuana or K2 to the Schedule I controlled substances list; to provide for legislative findings; to provide an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

OCGA 40-6-228 – enforcement of parking laws relating to persons with disabilities; Remove the requirement that a person appointed to enforce these laws have a disability.

HB 1338: To amend Code Section 40-6-228 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to enforcement of parking laws relating to persons with disabilities, so as to remove the requirement that a person appointed to enforce these laws have a disability; to provide immunity for a person appointed to enforce these laws; to provide for related matters; to provide for an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

Senate Bills

OCGA 20, Chapter 20 – Unlawful disruption of or interference with the operation of public schools or public school buses; to expand the definition of “bullying.”

SB 250: To amend Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to elementary and secondary education, so as to revise provisions relating to unlawful disruption of or interference with the operation of public schools or public school buses; to expand the definition of “bullying”; to provide for legislative findings; to provide that a student can be reassigned to another school for the purpose of separating such student from his or her bullying victim; to direct the Department of Education to develop a model policy regarding bullying; to provide that a mental state of knowledge, intention, or recklessness shall be an element of such offense; to provide for an effective date and for applicability; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

OCGA 15-11-1 and 16-11-127.1 – Relating to zero tolerance policy on weapons in schools

SB299: To amend Part 7 of Article 1 of Chapter 11 of Title 15 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to delinquent and unruly children, so as to change provisions relating to the zero tolerance policy on weapons in schools; to change provisions relating to the designated felony act; to amend Code Section 16-11-127.1 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to carrying weapons within school safety zones, at school functions, or on school property, so as to change a provision relating to handling cases involving children; to provide for related matters; to provide for an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

OCGA 16-11-125.1 – Relating to carrying and possession of firearms with and without a license.

SB 308: To amend Title 16 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to crimes and offenses, so as to clarify and change provisions regarding the carrying and possession of weapons; to provide for definitions; to provide for the offense of carrying a weapon without a license; to prohibit carrying weapons in unauthorized locations; to change provisions relating to carrying weapons within school safety zones, at school functions, or on school property; to change provisions relating to carrying a pistol without a license; to change provisions relating to the license to carry a pistol or revolver and the licensing exceptions; to conform cross-references with definitions; to provide for a weapons carry license; to amend various titles of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated so as to conform and correct cross-references; to provide for effective dates and applicability; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

OCGA 16-13-25 and 16-13-26 – Relating to Schedule I controlled substances, by revising subparagraph (SS) of paragraph (3); and amending 16-13-26, relating to Schedule II controlled substances.

SB 353: To amend Chapter 13 of Title 16 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to controlled substances, so as to change certain provisions relating to Schedule I, II, IV, and V controlled substances; to change certain provisions relating to the definition of “dangerous drug”; to provide an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

OCGA 35-3-8 – relating to the alert system for unapprehended murder and rape suspects; Create a state-wide “Blue Alert” system.

SB 397: To amend Article 8 of Chapter 3 of Title 35 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the alert system for unapprehended murder and rape suspects under the administration of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, so as to create a state-wide “Blue Alert” system to speed the apprehension of violent criminals who kill or seriously injure law enforcement officers and to aid in the location of missing law enforcement officers; to provide for definitions; to provide for procedure; to provide for related matters; to provide an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

OCGA 48, Chapter 17 – Relating to coin operated amusement machines;

SB 454: To amend Chapter 17 of Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to coin operated amusement machines, so as to revise definitions; to provide for classes of machines, location licenses, fees, procedures for collection and refunds, display of certificates, contents of certificates and stickers, duplicate permits, and late fees; to provide for the terms and conditions of location licenses and annual fees for additional machines; to provide that applications for licenses and permits are open to public inspection; to provide for issuance, renewal, denial, suspension, and revocation of such licenses and permits; to provide for the continued validity of prior existing obligations to the state; to provide that this Act shall not affect offenses committed or prosecutions begun under preexisting law; to change provisions relating to the maximum percentage of income derived from bona fide coin operated amusement machines; to provide for penalties for violations by business owners or operators; to amend Code Section 50-13-2 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to definitions relative to administrative procedure, so as to revise a definition; to provide for related matters; to provide an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

OCGA 40-8-76.1 – Use of safety belts in passenger vehicles pick-up trucks

SB 458: To amend Code Section 40-8-76.1 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the use of safety belts in passenger vehicles, so as to eliminate certain exceptions to the required use of safety belts; to provide for related matters; to provide for an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.