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Georgia State Code
Title      16
Chapter      11  
Section Navigation     1 ... 10         11 ... 33    
    34 ... 40           41 ... 64.1  
  64.2 ... 81         82 ... 106   
   107 ... 125       126 ... 134   
   150 ... 173       174 ... 183    184     
Section<<< 41 42 43 44 60 61 62 63 64 64.1 >>>  
Title 16, Chapter 11, Section 64 (16-11-64)

(a) Application of part to law enforcement officers. Except only as provided in subsection (b) of this Code section, nothing in this part shall apply to a duly constituted law enforcement officer in the performance of his official duties in ferreting out offenders or suspected offenders of the law or in secretly watching a person suspected of violating the laws of the United States or of this state, or any subdivision thereof, for the purpose of apprehending such suspected violator.

(b) Procedure. When in the course of his or her official duties, a law enforcement officer desiring to make use of any device, but only as such term is specifically defined by Code Section 16-11-60 and such use would otherwise constitute a violation of Code Section 16-11-62, the law enforcement officer shall act in compliance with the procedures provided for in this part:

(1) When there is probable cause to believe that a person is committing or has committed an act which endangers the national security of the United States or the security of this state or that such person is committing or has committed the crime of treason, insurrection, rebellion, espionage, sabotage, or any felony involving bodily harm, or any crimes involving arson, kidnapping, narcotics, dangerous drugs, or importing, manufacturing, delivering, distributing, dispensing, administering, selling, or possessing with intent to distribute marijuana or any controlled substance, or burglary, prostitution, theft, blackmail, extortion, bribery, gambling, racketeering activity, or any felony involving alcoholic beverage laws or auto thefts, or there is probable cause to believe that a private place is being utilized or has been utilized for the commission of any such crime, then, upon written application, under oath, of the district attorney having jurisdiction over the prosecution of such crime, or the Attorney General, which application affirms that there is probable cause to believe:

(A) That a person is committing or has committed any of the crimes enumerated in this paragraph; or

(B) That a private place is being utilized or has been utilized for the commission of any of the crimes enumerated in this paragraph

and sets forth specifically the basis of such probable cause and particularly describes the person or place, the crime or crimes, the device or devices to be used, and the specific conversations and activities to be overheard or observed, as the case may be, any judge of the superior court having jurisdiction of such crime may issue an investigation warrant permitting the use of devices, as defined by Code Section 16-11-60, for the surveillance of such person or place, provided that the warrant specifies with particularity the device or devices the use of which is to be permitted thereby; the purpose, duration, and circumstances of use permitted; the crime or crimes allegedly being committed; and the person or persons and place or places to be subject to such surveillance;

(2) The judge, before issuing such a warrant, shall satisfy himself or herself that the party initiating the application for the warrant is aware of the facts and circumstances through his or her own personal knowledge which are sufficient to lead a person of reasonable caution to believe that the alleged crime set forth in the application has been committed or is being committed or that such person has been informed of such facts and circumstances by a reasonably trustworthy informational source. The judge shall also satisfy himself or herself that there is set forth in the application exigencies adequately supported by facts and circumstances which overcome and override the need for giving of notice of the surveillance to the parties to be overheard or observed by the use of such devices;

(3) Investigation warrants issued under this Code section shall be valid for no more than 20 days after issuance, unless renewed for additional 20 day periods for good cause shown at the time of written application for each such renewal. An interception authorized pursuant to this Code section may be conducted in whole or in part by law enforcement personnel or by an individual operating under a contract with a law enforcement agency and acting under the supervision of a law enforcement officer authorized to conduct the interception;

(4) The officer executing the warrant must make a return of the warrant to the judge which shall set forth specifically how the warrant was used and employed and what was obtained thereby. The return shall reflect that the investigation or search in pursuance of the warrant was terminated immediately upon the conversation or activities which were authorized to be overheard, intercepted, or observed were in fact obtained. The return shall set forth with particularity the law enforcement officer or officers or their agents who actually employed the devices used in the execution of the warrant;

(5) The application for any investigation warrant under this Code section, any supporting evidence in connection therewith, and any entry of the issuance of an investigation warrant as a result thereof shall remain confidential and in the custody of the judge and shall not be released nor information touching same in any manner be disclosed, except upon written order of the judge or except at the time of trial of the case in which such evidence is used or in which evidence derived from such surveillance is used;

(6) The applicant for the warrant shall return same and report back to the judge issuing same within 30 days of the issuance of the warrant. In the event no evidence of one of the specific crimes set forth in this Code section has been obtained through the use of such device or devices, it shall be the duty of the applicant physically to destroy all evidence obtained by surveillance and to certify that fact in writing to the judge under oath;

(7) In the event evidence of or information concerning the specific crime set forth in the warrant is obtained through the use of such device or devices, the applicant shall so certify in writing under oath in his or her report under paragraph (6) of this subsection. Upon the return of an indictment or filing of an accusation based in whole or in part on such evidence or information or any part thereof, it shall be the duty of the prosecuting attorney promptly to notify the accused of the existence and substance of such evidence or information and, if the same has been reduced to a permanent form, shall make it available to the accused for inspection and copying; and

(8) Any publication of the information or evidence obtained under a warrant issued under this Code section other than that necessary and essential to the preparation of and actual prosecution for the crime specified in the warrant shall be an unlawful invasion of privacy under this part and shall cause such evidence and information to be inadmissible in any criminal prosecution.

(c) Admissibility of evidence. Evidence obtained in conformity with this Code section shall be admissible only in the courts of this state having felony and misdemeanor jurisdiction. When an investigative or law enforcement officer, while engaged in intercepting wire or oral communications or in observation in the manner authorized in this Code section, intercepts wire or oral communications or obtains fruits of observation relating to offenses for which an investigation warrant may issue, other than those specified in the order of authorization, the contents or fruits thereof and evidence derived therefrom may be disclosed or used in the same manner as if a surveillance warrant covering such crimes had initially been used.

(d) Providing facilities or technical assistance.

(1) It shall not be unlawful under the provisions of this part for an officer, employee, or agent of any communication common carrier to provide facilities or technical assistance to an investigative or law enforcement officer who, pursuant to this Code section, is authorized by warrant to intercept a wire or oral communication.

(2) An order authorizing the interception of a wire or oral communication shall, upon request of the applicant, direct that a communication common carrier, landlord, custodian, or other person shall furnish the applicant forthwith with such technical information, facilities, and technical assistance as is necessary to accomplish the interception unobtrusively and with a minimum of interference with the services that the carrier, landlord, custodian, or person is according the person whose communications are to be intercepted. Any communication common carrier, landlord, custodian, or other person furnishing such facilities or technical assistance shall be compensated therefor by the applicant at the prevailing rates.

(e) Defenses. A good faith reliance on a court order or legislative authorization shall constitute a complete defense to any civil or criminal action brought under this part or under any other law.

Saturday May 23 11:20 EDT


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