The Terrorist Threat Law in GeorgiaWritten on November 27, 2013
In the State of Georgia, there’s a big difference between exchanging a few words with someone and making a terroristic threat. These are two things that are quite clear and cannot be mistaken for one or the other. Regardless, there are multiple ways to handle differences without the worry that certain laws may come into play. This particular law being Georgia Law 16-11-37, covering terroristic threats and acts; also know as the Terrorist Threat Law.
Terroristic threats have never been taken lightly, especially since the events of September 11, 2001. The purpose of this blog is to simply inform you about the Terrorist Threat law and show you how easy it is to avoid committing any of the offenses mentioned within the law’s text.
The law states, “A person commits the offense of a terroristic threat when he or she threatens to commit any crime of violence, to release any hazardous substance, as such term is defined in Code Section 12-8-92, or to burn or damage property with the purpose of terrorizing another or of causing the evacuation of a building, place of assembly, or facility of public transportation or otherwise causing serious public inconvenience or in reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror or inconvenience. No person shall be convicted under this subsection on the uncorroborated testimony of the party to whom the threat is communicated.”
And a person commits a terroristic act when “he or she uses a burning or flaming cross or other burning or flaming symbol… with the intent to terrorize another or another’s household… While not in the commission of a lawful act, he or she shoots at or throws an object at a conveyance which is being operated or which is occupied by passengers; or He or she releases any hazardous substance or any simulated hazardous substance under the guise of a hazardous substance for the purpose of terrorizing another or of causing the evacuation of a building, place of assembly, or facility of public transportation or otherwise causing serious public inconvenience or in reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror or inconvenience.”
The seriousness of the text articulates how extreme a person’s actions must be to actually commit a terroristic threat or act. However, if someone does commit one of the offenses listed above, the punishment is extremely serious. The punishment varies depending on how extreme the threat or act is. If the accused is convicted of a terroristic threat, they will receive a fine of “not more than $1,000.00 or by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years, or both.” A person convicted of a terroristic act shall be punished of a fine of not more than $5,000.00 or by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years, or both.” Now if serious injury is involved, the fine shoots up to “no more than $250,000.00 or imprisonment of no less than five years nor more than 40 years, or both.”
That’s it. This law is very easy to interpret. Whether it’s a terroristic threat or act, these serious crimes are very simple to avoid, which is good because a conviction of this nature will last a lifetime.