Georgia Code Title 17. Criminal Procedure § 17-4-20.1

(a) Whenever a law enforcement officer responds to an incident in which an act of family violence, as defined in Code Section 19-13-1 , has been committed, the officer shall not base the decision of whether to arrest and charge a person on the specific consent of the victim or on a request by the victim solely or on consideration of the relationship of the parties. No officer investigating an incident of family violence shall threaten, suggest, or otherwise indicate the arrest of all parties for the purpose of discouraging requests for law enforcement intervention.

(b)(1) As used in this subsection, the term “predominant aggressor” means the individual who poses the most serious, ongoing threat, which may not be the initial aggressor in a specific incident.

(2) When complaints of family violence are received from two or more opposing parties, or if both parties have injuries, the officer shall evaluate each complaint separately to attempt to determine who was the predominant aggressor.  Such officer shall not threaten, suggest, or otherwise indicate that all parties will be arrested.  If such officer determines that one of the parties was the predominant physical aggressor, that person may be arrested. Such officer shall not be required to arrest any other person believed to have committed an act of family violence during the incident.  In determining whether a person is a predominant physical aggressor, an officer shall consider all of the following:

(A) Prior family violence involving either party;

(B) The relative severity of the injuries inflicted on each person, including whether the injuries are offensive versus defensive in nature;

(C) Threats that created the fear of physical injury;

(D) The potential for future injury;

(E) Whether one of the parties acted in self-defense or in defense of a third party;

(F) Prior complaints of family violence;  and

(G) Whether the person had reasonable cause to believe he or she was in imminent danger of becoming a victim of any act of family violence.

(c) Whenever a law enforcement officer investigates an incident of family violence, whether or not an arrest is made, the officer shall prepare and submit to the supervisor or other designated person a written report of the incident entitled “Family Violence Report.” Forms for such reports shall be designed and provided by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The report shall include the following:

(1) Name of the parties;

(2) Relationship of the parties;

(3) Sex of the parties;

(4) Date of birth of the parties;

(5) Time, place, and date of the incident;

(6) Whether children were involved or whether the act of family violence was committed in the presence of children;

(7) Type and extent of the alleged abuse;

(8) Existence of substance abuse;

(9) Number and types of weapons involved;

(10) Existence of any prior court orders;

(11) Type of police action taken in disposition of case, the reasons for the officer's determination that one party was the predominant physical aggressor, and mitigating circumstances for why an arrest was not made;

(12) Whether the victim was apprised of available remedies and services; and

(13) Any other information that may be pertinent.

(d) The report provided for in subsection (c) of this Code section shall be considered as being made for statistical purposes only and where no arrests are made shall not be subject to the provisions of Article 4 of Chapter 18 of Title 50. However, upon request, a defendant who has been arrested for an act of family violence or the victim shall be entitled to review and copy any report prepared in accordance with this Code section relating to the defendant.

(e) Each police department, including local precincts and county sheriff departments, shall report, according to rules and regulations of the Georgia Crime Information Center, all family violence incidents, both arrests and nonarrests, to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which shall compile and analyze statistics of family violence crimes and cause them to be published annually in the Georgia Uniform Crime Reports. An offense shall be counted for each incident reported to the police. A zero shall be reported if no incidents have occurred during the reporting period.


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