Dallas, Ga. – According to reports out of Paulding County, a longtime District Attorney for the county has been arrested on four felony charges. He has been accused of bribery, violation of oath by a public officer, and two counts of false swearing.
The charges stem from an alleged sexual harassment suit that occurred in 2019. He has been accused of lying regarding his relationship to the alleged victim. However, as of right now, he has continued to deny any wrongdoing.
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney, I will focus on one of the charges faced by the DA – violation of oath by a public officer.
Violation of Oath by a Public Officer
Georgia Law defines violation of oath by public officer in Georgia in O.C.G.A. §16-10-1 as:
Any public officer who willfully and intentionally violates the terms of his oath as prescribed by law shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years.
In order to convict an officer of violating his oath of office, the State must prove that the defendant was actually administered an oath, that the oath was prescribed by law, and that the officer violated the terms of that oath. 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.
If a public officer is convicted of violating the oath in Georgia, the punishment will be a prison term between one and five years. They will be guilty of a felony.
I have written many times how anyone can be accused of committing a crime or breaking the law. This is an example of that. If you have been arrested or accused of a criminal offense, call our offices now. We can help you today.