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2017 Law Update - Domestic Terrorism Law

Posted by Sean A. Black | Jun 14, 2017 | 0 Comments

The General Assembly has created a new felony offense described as domestic terrorism.  It will be codified at OCGA 16-11-220.

Domestic terrorism is defined as the commission or attempt to commit a felony offense which either by itself or along with a series of other acts is intended to cause serious bodily harm, kill an individual or group, disable or destroy critical infrastructure, a state or government facility, or public transportation system, and which is intended to intimidate the civilian population or alter, change, or coerce a government policy or affect the conduct of government by intimidation or coercion.

At a minimum, the offense carries five years in prison and up to 35 years.  There are additional minimums based on the harms perpetrated.  

It appears that it would be an add-on count in addition to the separate criminal conduct which forms the basis of the conduct. The additional punishment would be tied to the intent of the parties to cause specific harms.

The new offense is intended not to apply to constitutionally protected speech.  It is an offense for which the Georgia Attorney General can conduct the prosecution.

About the Author

Sean A. Black

Sean A. Black is a 1992 graduate of the Emory University School of Law. He has been in private practice in Toccoa, Georgia since June 1, 1992.


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