Reports out of a school district in Newton County, reveal that a former substitute teacher has been arrested on charges of terroristic threats and terroristic acts.
The substitute teacher allegedly started a fight with an elementary school principal while working.
The school system has reported that: “The substitute displayed inappropriate behavior and ultimately charges were filed. She no longer serves as a substitute with our school system.”
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney, I will outline the laws behind both terroristic threats and terroristic acts. These laws are closely related and are easily confused.
Terroristic Threats 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
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.
Crimes that involve interfering with others and/or authorities are taken seriously in Georgia. These crimes include everything from littering to jumping bail.
As I point out in every post - no matter the offense - a person is not to be considered guilty just because of an arrest. An arrest is not the same as a conviction. If you or a loved one has been arrested, contact a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer today.