An Atlanta police officer has been fired from his position with the Atlanta Police Department after he was found guilty of punching a woman during her arrest.
According to reports, the force used by the officer was deemed both “unnecessary and inconsistent.” The officer was patrolling in Maggie Thomas' neighborhood for a silver vehicle when he spotted Thomas and her daughter sitting in a car that matched the description. The police report showed that Thomas then resisted the officer's interrogation, which resulted in the officer punching the woman in front of her child. After an internal investigation, Thomas' charges of disorderly conduct and obstruction in Georgia were dropped.
Even though the charges have been dismissed against Thomas, as a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I will outline the law behind one of the offenses she was originally arrested for - disorderly conduct.
Disorderly Conduct in Georgia
Disorderly Conduct in Georgia is defined by Georgia Law in O.C.G.A. §16-11-39 by outlining four situations that qualify as such conduct.
A person commits the offense of disorderly conduct when such person commits any of the following:
(1) Acts in a violent or tumultuous manner toward another person whereby such person is placed in reasonable fear of the safety of such person's life, limb, or health;
(2) Acts in a violent or tumultuous manner toward another person whereby the property of such person is placed in danger of being damaged or destroyed;
(3) Without provocation, uses to or of another person in such other person's presence, opprobrious or abusive words which by their very utterance tend to incite to an immediate breach of the peace, that is to say, words which as a matter of common knowledge and under ordinary circumstances will, when used to or of another person in such other person's presence, naturally tend to provoke violent resentment, that is, words commonly called "fighting words"; or
(4) Without provocation, uses obscene and vulgar or profane language in the presence of or by telephone to a person under the age of 14 years which threatens an immediate breach of the peace.
Disorderly conduct is classified as misdemeanor offense. That means that if someone is arrested and convicted of disorderly conduct, then the punishment can include up to 12 months in jail and up to $1000 in fines.
Disorderly conduct is something I refer to as a “catchall law.” I call it this because it is an offense that covers an array of behaviors and actions, and it is typically charged when the police want to teach someone a lesson.
If you or a loved one has been arrested, contact a Georgia DUI Attorney today. We can help you with your case now.