Have You Been Charged with Avoiding or Interfering With Security Measures in Georgia?
Over the past decade, we have seen countless security measures added to our commutes whether it is by bus, rail, or airplane. These procedures have been implemented in order to protect us. Attempts to avoid or interfere with these measures will be treated as a crime and Georgia heavily penalizes those actions. If you or a loved one has been charged with avoiding or interfering with security measures, contact us today. The Offices of Lawson and Berry have over 50 years of criminal defense experience, and we are here to help you today. Contact us now for a free case evaluation.
Georgia Law O.C.G.A. §16-12-122
Georgia law states that it shall be unlawful for any person to avoid or interfere with a properly functioning security measure.
Therefore, there are two ways to violate this statute: avoiding and interfering.
Avoiding a security measure means to take any action that is intended to result in any person, baggage, container, or item of any type being allowed into a secure area without being subjected to security measures or the assembly of items into an object or substance that is prohibited under the laws of this state or of the United States or any of their agencies, political subdivisions, or authorities after such items have passed through a security measure into a secure area. O.C.G.A. §16-12-122(2)
Interfering with a security measure means taking any action that is intended to defeat, disable, or prevent the full operation of equipment or procedures designed or intended to detect any object or substance, including, but not limited to, disabling of any device so that it cannot fully function, creation of any diversion intended to defeat a security measure, or packaging of any item or substance so as to avoid detection by a security measure. O.C.G.A. §16-12-122(5)
What is Considered a Security Measure?
Lastly, security measures are defined as any process or procedure by which employees, agents, passengers, persons accompanying passengers, containers, baggage, freight, or possessions of passengers or persons accompanying passengers are screened, inspected, or examined by any means for the purpose of ensuring the safety and welfare of aircraft, bus, or rail vehicles and the employees, agents, passengers, and freight of any transportation company. The security measures may be operated by or under the authority of any governmental entity, transportation company, or any entity contracting therewith. O.C.G.A. §16-12-122(9)
Penalty for Avoiding or Interfering With a Security Measure in Georgia
Georgia law treats a conviction for avoiding or interfering with a security measure as a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. The consequences include a fine up to $5,000, jail time up to 12 months, or both.
However, if the person violated this statute with the intent to commit a felony within a terminal or to an aircraft, bus, or rail vehicle, the penalty is elevated to a fine not to exceed $100,000, a prison term between five and twenty years, or both.
How Can Lawson and Berry Help?
Many people do not understand that a charge is not the same as a conviction. There are always defenses we can argue on your behalf. One argument for avoiding security measures is if it was accidental. A lack of intent to avoid them supported by evidence would be a great approach to getting the charges dismissed. Another argument your Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer could make is that you unintentionally interfered with the security measure. If you thought you were using it the correct way that could be an adequate defense. There is no shortage of defenses we could use to help argue your case. However, every situation is different so call us today so we can design a plan tailored to your circumstances.
The Law Office of Lawson and Berry has over 50 combined years of criminal defense experience. Our team of Criminal Defense Attorneys is Georgia's premier defense firm. Our experience in the courtroom is unparalleled, but our Lawyers are also skillful negotiators. We can help get the outcome you desire. Don't wait; contact us today for a free case evaluation.