Georgia Code Title 17. Criminal Procedure § 17-15-8

(a) No award may be made unless the board or director finds that:

(1) A crime was committed;

(2) The crime directly resulted in the victim's physical injury, serious mental or emotional trauma, or financial hardship as a result of the victim's physical injury, serious mental or emotional trauma, or the victim's death;

(3) Police records, records of an investigating agency, or records created pursuant to a mandatory reporting requirement show that the crime was promptly reported to the proper authorities.  In no case may an award be made where the police records, records of an investigating agency, or records created pursuant to a mandatory reporting requirement show that such report was made more than 72 hours after the occurrence of such crime unless the board, for good cause shown, finds the delay to have been justified and provided, further, that good cause shall be presumed if the person is eligible for awards pursuant to this chapter corresponding to subparagraph (a)(1)(D) of Code Section 17-15-7 ;  and

(4) The applicant has pursued restitution rights against any person who committed the crime unless the board or director determines that such action would not be feasible.

(a.1) The board, upon finding that any claimant or award recipient has not fully cooperated with all law enforcement agencies, may deny, reduce, or withdraw any award.

(b) Any award made pursuant to this chapter shall be in an amount not exceeding actual expenses, including indebtedness reasonably incurred for medical expenses, loss of wages, funeral expenses, mental health counseling, or support for dependents of a deceased victim necessary as a direct result of the injury or hardship upon which the claim is based.

(c)(1) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, no award made under the provisions of this chapter shall exceed $1,000.00 in the aggregate;  provided, however, that with respect to any claim filed with the board as a result of a crime occurring on or after July 1, 1994, no award made under the provisions of this chapter payable to a claimant sustaining economic loss because of injury to or death of a victim shall exceed $5,000.00 in the aggregate;  provided, further, that with respect to any claim filed with the board as a result of a crime occurring on or after July 1, 1995, no award made under the provisions of this chapter payable to a claimant sustaining economic loss because of injury to or death of a victim shall exceed $10,000.00 in the aggregate;  provided, further, that with respect to any claim filed with the board as a result of a crime occurring on or after July 1, 2002, no award made under the provisions of this chapter payable to a claimant sustaining economic loss because of injury to or death of a victim shall exceed $25,000.00 in the aggregate;  provided, further, that with respect to any claim filed with the board for serious mental or emotional trauma, no award shall be made for a crime occurring before July 1, 2009.

(2) No award under this chapter for the following losses shall exceed the maximum amount authorized:

Category

Maximum Award

Lost wages․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․

․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․$ 10,000.00

Funeral expenses․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․

․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․6,000.00

Financial hardship or loss of support․․․․․․․․․․

․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․10,000.00

Medical․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․

․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․15,000.00

Counseling․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․

․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․3,000.00

Crime scene sanitization․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․

․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․1,500.00

(d) In determining the amount of an award, the director and board shall determine whether because of his or her conduct the victim contributed to the infliction of his or her injury, serious mental or emotional trauma, or financial hardship, and the director and board may reduce the amount of the award or reject the claim altogether in accordance with such determination.

(e) The director and board may reject an application for an award when the claimant has failed to cooperate in the verification of the information contained in the application.

(f) Any award made pursuant to this chapter may be reduced by or set off by the amount of any payments received or to be received as a result of the injury, serious mental or emotional trauma:

(1) From or on behalf of the person who committed the crime;  and

(2) From any other private or public source, including an award of workers' compensation pursuant to the laws of this state,

provided that private sources shall not include contributions received from family members or persons or private organizations making charitable donations to a claimant.

(g) No award made pursuant to this chapter shall be subject to garnishment, execution, or attachment other than for expenses resulting from the injury or serious mental or emotional trauma which is the basis for the claim.

(h) An award made pursuant to this chapter shall not constitute a payment which is treated as ordinary income under either the provisions of Chapter 7 of Title 48 or, to the extent lawful, under the United States Internal Revenue Code.

(i) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter to the contrary, no awards from state funds shall be paid to a claimant for a crime which occurred prior to July 1, 1989.

(j) In any case where a crime results in death, the spouse, parents, step-parents, children, step-children, siblings, or step-siblings of such deceased victim may be considered eligible for an award for the cost of psychological counseling which is deemed necessary as a direct result of said criminal incident.  The maximum award for said counseling expenses shall not exceed $3,000.00 for each claimant identified in this subsection.

(k)(1) In addition to any other award authorized by this Code section, in any case where a deceased was a victim of homicide by vehicle caused by a violation of Code Section 40-6-391 on any road which is part of the state highway system, upon request of the next of kin of the deceased, an award of compensation in the form of a memorial sign erected by the Department of Transportation as provided by this subsection shall be paid to an eligible claimant.

(2) The provisions of paragraph (4) of subsection (a) of this Code section shall not apply for purposes of eligibility for awards made under this subsection, and the value of any award paid to a claimant under this subsection shall not apply toward or be subject to any limitation on award amounts paid to any claimant under other provisions of this Code section.

(3) The Department of Transportation, upon receiving payment for the cost of materials and labor from the board, shall upon request of the next of kin of the deceased erect a sign memorializing the deceased on the right of way of such public highway at the location of the accident or as near thereto as safely and reasonably possible and shall maintain such sign for a period of five years from the date the sign is erected unless its earlier removal is requested in writing by the next of kin.  Such sign shall be 24 inches wide by 36 inches high and depict a map of the State of Georgia, with a dark blue background and a black outline of the state boundaries.  A border of white stars shall be placed on the inside of the state boundaries, and the sign shall contain the words “In Memory of (name), DUI Victim (date of accident).”

(4) In the event of multiple such claims arising out of a single motor vehicle accident, the names of all deceased victims for whom such claims are made and for whom a request has been made by the next of kin of the deceased may be placed on one such sign or, if necessary, on one such sign and a plaque beneath of the same color as the sign.  In the event of multiple claims relating to the same deceased victim, no more than one such sign shall be paid for and erected for such victim.

Cite this article: FindLaw.com - Georgia Code Title 17. Criminal Procedure § 17-15-8 - last updated April 14, 2021 | https://codes.findlaw.com/ga/title-17-criminal-procedure/ga-code-sect-17-15-8.html


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