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 24 – Is amended by repealing in its entirety relating to evidence and enacting a new Title 24, OCGA 35-3-60 to 35-3-65, relating to the collection of DNA evidence and several other evidentiary statutes.

HB 24: To amend the Official Code of Georgia Annotated so as to substantially revise, supersede, and modernize provisions relating to evidence; to provide for legislative findings; to provide for definitions; to provide for general provisions; to provide for judicial notice; to provide for parole evidence; to provide for admission of relevant evidence; to provide for testimonial privileges; to provide for competency of witnesses; to provide for opinions and expert testimony; to provide for and define hearsay; to provide for authentication and identification of writings, recordings, and photographs; to provide for the best evidence rule; to provide for establishment of lost records; to provide for medical and other confidential information; to provide for securing attendance of witnesses and production and preservation of evidence; to provide for proof generally; to amend Title 35 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to law enforcement officers and agencies, so as to move provisions relating to DNA analysis of persons convicted of certain crimes from Title 24 to Title 35; to change provisions relating to foreign language interpreters and interpreters for the hearing impaired; to amend the Official Code of Georgia Annotated so as to conform provisions to the new Title 24 and correct cross-references; to provide for effective dates and applicability; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes. This Act shall become effective on January 1, 2013, and shall apply to any motion made or hearing or trial commenced on or after such date.

OCGA 16-5-46, relating to trafficking of persons for labor or sexual servitude.

HB 200: To amend Titles 16, 17, and 35 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to crimes and offenses, criminal procedure, and law enforcement, respectively, so as to discourage trafficking of persons for labor or sexual servitude and provide greater protections to persons subject to such crimes; to increase the penalties for trafficking of persons for labor or sexual servitude; to change provisions relating to trafficking of persons for labor or sexual servitude; to provide that certain facts or circumstances shall not constitute a defense to the crime of trafficking of persons for labor or sexual servitude; to increase penalties for the crimes of keeping a place of prostitution, pimping, and pandering when the crimes involve certain youth; to provide for definitions; to provide for an affirmative defense to certain sexual crimes under certain circumstances; to change provisions relating to compensation from the Georgia Crime Victims Compensation Board; to provide for notification of federal assistance for certain persons under the Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights; to provide for training for law enforcement investigating crimes involving trafficking persons for labor or sexual servitude; to provide that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation shall have the duty to investigate violations of Code Section 16-5-46 and shall have subpoena power under certain circumstances; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

OCGA 17-12-3, relating to legal defense for indigents and the creation of the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council.

HB 238: To amend Chapter 12 of Title 17 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to legal defense for indigents, so as to reconstitute the membership of the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council and provide for appointing members to such council; to change and clarify certain provisions relative to the powers and duties of the council and director; to clarify the council’s responsibility to set policy and standards and the director’s responsibility to develop rules and regulations to efficiently administer the provisions of this chapter; to change provisions relating to council members’ responsibilities; to provide for the director to appoint circuit public defenders; to change certain annual reporting requirements; to repeal an obsolete effective date Code section; to change provisions relating to the circuit public defender supervisory panel; to change provisions relating to appointing attorneys in conflict of interest cases; to provide for related matters; to provide an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

OCGA 15-12, relating to juries. This Act shall be known and may be cited as the “Jury Composition Reform Act of 2011” and OCGA 16-4-9, relating to fraud and related offenses.

HB 415: To amend Titles 15, 16, 21, 40, 45, and 50 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to courts, crimes and offenses, elections, motor vehicles and traffic, public officers and employees, and state government, respectively, so as to provide for a modernized and uniform system of compiling, creating, maintaining, and updating jury lists in this state; to provide for a short title; to provide for state-wide compilation and distribution of the state-wide master jury list by the Council of Superior Court Clerks of Georgia; to eliminate forced balancing of county jury pools by race, gender, and ethnicity for the purpose of complying with the United States and Georgia Constitutions and the Unified Appeal process; to modernize terminology in Chapter 12 of Title 15 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to juries; to remove non-mechanical procedures relative to selecting persons for jury service; to change eligibility requirements for grand jurors; to provide that the Council of Superior Court Clerks of Georgia assist county boards of jury commissioners with jury matters; to provide for the methodology for county boards of jury commissioners to obtain county master jury lists; to prohibit public disclosure of jury source lists except under certain circumstances; to amend the Official Code of Georgia Annotated so as to conform provisions to the new Chapter 12 of Title 15 and correct cross-references; to amend Article 4 of Chapter 9 of Title 16 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to fraud and related offenses, so as to provide for definitions; to provide that it shall be unlawful to willfully and knowingly sell, purchase, install, transfer, or possess in this state any automated sales suppression device or zapper or phantom-ware; to provide for penalties and civil remedies; to provide that such devices and software are contraband; to prohibit public disclosure for certain public records relating to governmental security measures and person involved in such issues; to provide for related matters; to provide for effective dates and applicability; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

OCGA 17-15-2, relating to sexual offenses and criminal procedure, respectively, so as to provide for funding of forensic medical examinations.

HB 503: To amend Chapter 6 of Title 16 and Title 17 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to sexual offenses and criminal procedure, respectively, so as to provide for funding of forensic medical examinations involved in certain sexual offenses; to provide for a definition; to provide for procedure; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.