Georgia Criminal Defense Blog

Abducted Toddler Found Safe in Georgia

Posted by Richard Lawson | Mar 29, 2020 | 0 Comments

Coweta County deputies are still searching for a man who has been accused of abducting his own child from her mother.

The mother explained that the man threatened to kill her before he took their child. Investigators reported that the little girl was returned to a family member on Friday. The man is still reportedly on the run and is wanted on charges of terroristic threats.

As a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney, I will focus today's post on the offenses of both terroristic threats in Georgia and terroristic acts in Georgia.

Terroristic Threats and Terroristic Acts in Georgia

Terroristic Threats in Georgia is defined by Georgia Law in O.C.G.A. §16-11-37(b) as:

A person commits the offense of a terroristic threat when he or she threatens to:

  • Commit any crime of violence;
  • Release any hazardous substance; or
  • Burn or damage property.

The threat must be made with the purpose of terrorizing another, with the purpose of causing the evacuation of a building, place of assembly, or facility of public transportation, with the purpose of otherwise causing serious public inconvenience, or in reckless disregard of the risk of causing the terror, evacuation, or inconvenience.

A person convicted of terroristic threat will be punished as a misdemeanor. Misdemeanors carry the consequences of up to one year in jail or up to $1,000 in fines, or both. However, if the threat suggested the death of the threatened individual, the person convicted will be guilty of a felony and will be punished by a fine not to exceed $1,000, a prison term between one and five years, or both.

Terroristic Acts in Georgia is also defined by Georgia Law in part (c) of the same statute as:

A person commits the offense of a terrorist act when:

  • He or she uses a burning or flaming cross or other burning or flaming symbol or flambeau 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

Again, the act must be made with the purpose of terrorizing another, with the purpose of causing the evacuation of a building, place of assembly, or facility of public transportation, with the purpose of otherwise causing serious public inconvenience, or in reckless disregard of the risk of causing the terror, evacuation, or inconvenience.

Unlike terroristic threats, terroristic acts is automatically classified as a felony. A person convicted of terroristic acts will be punished by a fine no more than $5,000, a prison term between one and ten years, or both. However, if any person suffers a severe physical injury as a direct result of the act, the defendant will be punished by a fine not to exceed $250,000, a prison term between five and forty years, or both.

Practice Note

As I mentioned in yesterday's post - there are more and more crimes being reported that have to do with family units with the COVID-19 quarantine suggestions in place. If you or a loved one has been arrested or is facing charges in Georgia, contact our offices now.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Richard Lawson has devoted his entire career to DUI Defense and Criminal Defense. As a former Prosecutor he knows both sides of your case. Put his experience to work for you. In DUI cases, you only have 30 days to protect your right to drive. Call now for immediate attention. We are available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

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