Illegal Remuneration of Judges and Law Enforcement Officials in Georgia
Judges and other law enforcement officials are held to a higher standard because of their positions. By accepting this type of office, you are subject to stricter rules about how you should conduct yourself both professionally and personally. One such restriction is that judges and other officials may not receive money for public appearances or any commercial activity concerning a case where they are a witness.
What is Considered Remuneration for Judges and Law Enforcement Officials in Georgia?
O.C.G.A. §16-10-98 defines the crime of remuneration in Georgia:
It shall be unlawful for a judge, prosecuting attorney, investigating officer, or law enforcement officer who is a witness in a case to receive or agree to receive remuneration during the period of time between indictment and the completion of direct appeal in any criminal case in which the judge, prosecuting attorney, or law enforcement officer is involved for any of the following activities:
(1) Publishing a book or article concerning the case;
(2) Making a public appearance concerning the case; or
(3) Participating in any commercial activity concerning the case.
However, it should be noted that it does not preclude judges or other officials from participating in these activities after the case has reached completion. This occurs if the case is not appealed or after the appeal has been reached a final disposition.
Penalty for Remuneration in Georgia
A judge or other official that receives money for publishing a book, making a public appearance, or participating in commercial activity concerning the case will be charged with a misdemeanor. In Georgia, misdemeanor charges come with a penalty of either $1,000 in fines or up to one year in jail, or both.
The case had been completed: While it is still discouraged to receive money after being a witness in a case, the time-period in the statute is between the indictment and the completion of direct appeal. Therefore, after the appeal, the law does not preclude it.
It was not a public appearance or commercial activity: If the activity was private, you might not be guilty of a crime. However, you would need the assistance of a Georgia Remuneration Attorney to demonstrate that the statute does not apply to your situation.
I am not an official covered under the statute: O.C.G.A. §16-10-98 states that judges, prosecuting attorneys, investigating officers, and other law enforcement officers are subject to this law. If you do not hold one of those positions, then you cannot be guilty of this crime.
What are not Defenses
The case was almost over: The statute states that the case must be completed or else it is illegal to accept money for any of the activities.
The original case was over: If the original case is over, but the defendant appealed, then the official is still unable to receive money. The appeal must be finalized.
No matter the crime, our Georgia Attorneys can help. If you have been charged with remuneration in Georgia, we are here to assist with your case. Contact us today to start building your defense.