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Sex Offenses Legislative Update: A New Time Period for the Preservation of Physical Evidence

Posted by Sean A. Black | Jun 20, 2019 | 0 Comments

A revised bill (HB 282) relating to preservation of sexual assault evidence will be effective on July 1, 2019. The bill allows a new time period for the preservation of physical evidence, including DNA, in sexual assault cases where the victim reports the sexual assault.

The new time periods are:

  • 30 years from the date of arrest
  • 7 years from the completion of any sentence for a sexual assault
  • if there is no arrest in the case, then the physical evidence will be kept for 50 years. 

Each period provides a protection to either the prosecution of the case or an examination of whether the arrest was supported by physical or genetic evidence.

While HB 282 deals with the preservation of sexual assault evidence, HB 470 clarifies DNA Collection for certain sex offenses.

Felony sentences made under either the First Offender Act or a conditional discharge statute will be subject to DNA collection.  This DNA will be analyzed by the GBI (Georgia Bureau of Investigation) and stored in their DNA Data Bank.
However, O.C.G.A. § 35-3-165 as amended requires that detailed information be provided to the offender regarding the expungement from the DNA Data Bank for these offenders.

The GBI will be required to destroy all samples and remove the profiles from the data bank within 30 days when Court sends a certified copy of 1) dismissal, 2) acquittal, 3) a notice that all felony charges were reduced to misdemeanors, or 4) that the first offender/conditional discharge sentence was successfully completed.

2019 – 2020 Georgia HB 282 / O.C.G.A. § 17-5-71
2019- 2020 HB 470 / O.C.G.A. § 35-3-160

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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