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Georgia Code Title 24. Evidence § 24-5-8.1

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(a)?Except as otherwise provided in Code Section 25-4-12, any person volunteering at a volunteer fire department as a volunteer firefighter shall, as prescribed by the volunteer council:

(1)?Be at least 18 years of age;

(2)?Not have been convicted of, or pleaded guilty to, a felony in any jurisdiction or of a crime which if committed in this state would constitute a felony under the laws of this state within ten years prior to volunteering, provided that a person who has been convicted of a felony more than five but less than ten years prior to volunteering may be registered as a volunteer firefighter when the person has:

(A)?Successfully completed a training program following the Georgia Fire Academy curriculum and sponsored by the Department of Corrections;

(B)?Been recommended to a volunteer fire department by the proper authorities at the institution at which the training program was undertaken; ?and

(C)?Met all other requirements for a volunteer firefighter as set forth in this chapter.

(b)?For the purposes of this Code section, a person shall be deemed to have been convicted of a crime if such person shall have pleaded guilty to a charge thereof before a court or federal magistrate or shall have been found guilty thereof by the decision or judgment of a court or federal magistrate or by the verdict of a jury, irrespective of the pronouncement of sentence or the suspension thereof, unless such plea of guilty or such decision, judgment, or verdict shall have been set aside, reversed, or otherwise abrogated by lawful judicial process or unless the person convicted of the crime shall have received a pardon therefor from the President of the United States or the governor or other pardoning authority in the jurisdiction where the conviction was had or shall have received a certificate of good conduct granted by the State Board of Pardons and Paroles pursuant to the provisions of law to remove a disability under law because of such conviction. ?Any person convicted of a felony while he or she is a registered volunteer firefighter shall have his or her registration revoked.

(c)(1)?For purposes of making determinations relating to eligibility under this Code section, a local volunteer fire department shall provide information relative to prospective volunteers to the local law enforcement agency or other agency having access to the Georgia Crime Information Center for a search to determine if the prospective volunteer has been convicted of a felony in Georgia. ?Such local agency shall be authorized to obtain conviction data with respect to such prospective volunteers of a local volunteer fire department as authorized in this subsection. ?All conviction data received by the local agency shall not be a public record, shall be privileged, and shall not be disclosed to any other person or agency except as provided in this subsection and except to any person or agency which otherwise has a legal right to inspect the file. ?All such records shall be maintained by the local agency pursuant to laws regarding such records and the rules and regulations of the Georgia Crime Information Center, as applicable. ?As used in this subsection, ?conviction data? means a record of a finding or verdict of guilty or plea of guilty or plea of nolo contendere with regard to any crime, regardless of whether an appeal of the conviction has been sought.

(2)?The volunteer council shall create a form upon which may be indicated only whether the prospective volunteer was convicted of a felony or has no felony convictions. ?The local agency shall complete such form and shall provide same to the chief of the fire department which requested information on a prospective volunteer. ?Such information may be provided to the volunteer council. ?The provisions of paragraph (1) of this subsection relating to privileged information and records of conviction data shall apply to any information provided by a local agency to a local volunteer fire department.

Cite this article: - Georgia Code Title 24. Evidence § 24-5-8.1 - last updated April 14, 2021 |

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