Georgia Criminal Defense Blog

Coweta County Firefighter Arrested for Violating his Oath of Office

Posted by Richard Lawson | Feb 20, 2019 | 0 Comments

Logan Bowden, an ex-firefighter in Coweta County was recently fired for violating the code of ethics of the department and was arrested on several charges following an incident at a house fire.

According to reports, Bowden and his team responded to a house fire on January 29th off of Cannon Road. The homeowner owned several guns, and Bowden has been accused of stealing a silencer off of one of the guns that had remained undamaged from the fire. The homeowner discovered that the silencer was missing and reported it to the sheriff's office. The department interviewed all of the firefighters that responded to that house fire. Bowden allegedly denied taking it at firm, but then eventually admitted to the theft. The silencer was bought from a local gun shop and was valued at $1600.

Bowden faces charges of theft by taking in Georgia as well as false statements in Georgia. Most seriously, Bowden has been charged with violating his oath of office.

As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will outline the offense of violating an oath in today's post.

Violating Oath of Office in Georgia

Violating Oath of Office in Georgia is a criminal offense that can apply to any public officer in the state. The Georgia Code does not have a specific statute defining a public officer - however, it can include both appointed and elected offices. The oath is exclusive to the position.

For example, the oath Sheriffs are required to take in Georgia is as follows:

“I do swear that I will faithfully execute all writs, warrants, precepts, and processes directed to me as sheriff of this county, or which are directed to all sheriffs of this state, or to any other sheriff specially, which I can lawfully execute, and true returns make, and in all things well and truly, without malice or partiality, perform the duties of the office of sheriff of _____ County, during my continuance therein, and take only my lawful fees. So help me God.”

Oaths can be violated even while the officer is off duty. The issue is not whether the officer was on duty at the time the prohibited action occurred, but whether there was some connection between the offense and the public officer's official duties.

In order to be guilty of violating the oath of a public officer in Georgia, the officer must have been actually administered an oath,  the oath was prescribed by law, and that the officer violated the terms of that oath. 

Violating an oath of office is classified as a felony in Georgia. Felony Punishments in Georgia are severe and life-changing. If a public officer is convicted of violating the oath in Georgia, the punishment will be a prison term between one and five years. While lengthy prison sentences and hefty fines are severe punishments by themselves, felonies have additional consequences. If released from prison, it can be challenging to have a normal life. A felony conviction makes it difficult to obtain housing, credit, or even employment.

Practice Note

These charges should not be taken lightly. A Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney can help with your case today. Contact The Law Offices of Lawson and Berry today for a free case evaluation. We can discuss what options you have and what we can offer you regarding representation. We will always try our hardest to meet your needs. Call now and speak with us today.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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