2021 Georgia Code
Title 24 - Evidence
Chapter 5 - Privileges
§ 24-5-505. Party or Witness Privilege

Universal Citation: GA Code § 24-5-505 (2021)
  1. No party or witness shall be required to testify as to any matter which may incriminate or tend to incriminate such party or witness or which shall tend to bring infamy, disgrace, or public contempt upon such party or witness or any member of such party or witness's family.
  2. Except in proceedings in which a judgment creditor or judgment creditor's successor in interest seeks postjudgment discovery involving a judgment debtor pursuant to Code Section 9-11-69, no party or witness shall be required to testify as to any matter which shall tend to work a forfeiture of his or her estate.
  3. No official persons shall be called on to disclose any state matters of which the policy of the state and the interest of the community require concealment.

(Code 1981, §24-5-505, enacted by Ga. L. 2011, p. 99, § 2/HB 24.)

Cross references.

- Prohibition against compelled self-incrimination, Ga. Const. 1983, Art. I, Sec. I, Para. XVI.

Law reviews.

- For article, "Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Invocation of the Privilege Against Self-Incrimination in Civil Cases," see 15 (No. 1) Ga. St. B.J. 14 (2009). For note discussing discovery proceedings available to creditors, see 12 Ga. L. Rev. 814 (1978). For comment discussing the privilege against answers tending to disgrace but not incriminate, see 18 Ga. B.J. 88 (1955). For comment, "The Government's Privilege to Withhold the Identity of Informers, as Applied to Decoys," see 20 Ga. B.J. 562 (1958).



  • General Consideration
  • Self-Incrimination
  • Forfeiture of Estate
  • State Matters


Editor's notes.

- In light of the similarity of the statutory provisions, opinions under former Code 1933, §§ 38-1102, 38-1205, and 38-1711 are included in the annotations for this Code section.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation is not required to turn its files over to an investigating subcommittee of the United States Senate. 1954-56 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 336 (decided under former Code 1933, §§ 38-1102, 38-1205, and 38-1711).


Criminal Law - Need for Disclosure of identity of Informant, 33 POF2d 549.


- 27 C.J.S., Discovery, §§ 5, 18, 19.


- Right to recover property held by public authorities as evidence for use in a criminal trial, 13 A.L.R. 1168.

Constitutional immunity against giving incriminating testimony as affecting contractual stipulation to submit to examination, 18 A.L.R. 749.

Plea of privilege by the woman concerned in violation of White Slave Act, 48 A.L.R. 991.

Privilege against self-incrimination as applicable to answer to pleadings, 52 A.L.R. 143.

Footprint evidence as violating rule against self-defense, 64 A.L.R. 1089.

Admissibility of secondary evidence of incriminating document in possession of defendant, 67 A.L.R. 77.

What amounts to violation of statute forbidding comment by prosecuting attorney on failure of accused to testify, 68 A.L.R. 1108.

Constitutional provision against self-incrimination as applicable to questions asked or testimony given in proceeding before nonjudicial officer or body, 68 A.L.R. 1503.

Waiver of immunity from testifying and constitutional provision against self-incrimination, by accomplice testifying for prosecution, 87 A.L.R. 882.

Burden of proof as to outlawry by limitation or otherwise of criminal prosecution when relied upon to defeat claim of privilege against self-incrimination, 101 A.L.R. 389.

Constitutionality, construction, and effect of statutes in relation to conduct of driver of automobile after happening of accident, 101 A.L.R. 911.

Right as against objection of one other than voter himself to consider testimony as to how he voted given by him after his claim of privilege had been erroneously overruled, 113 A.L.R. 1228.

Privilege against self-incrimination as justification for refusal to comply with order or subpoena requiring production of books or documents of private corporation, 120 A.L.R. 1102.

Disclosure by witness of fact or transaction as waiver of his privilege against self-incrimination in respect of details and particulars which will elucidate it, 147 A.L.R. 255.

Privilege against self-incrimination as available to member or officer of unincorporated association as regards its books or papers, 152 A.L.R. 1208.

Testimony of incriminating character which witness as compelled to give, by virtue of immunity statute or otherwise, as admissible in a prosecution of the witness for an offense subsequently committed, 157 A.L.R. 428.

Use in subsequent prosecution of self-incriminating testimony given without invoking privilege, 5 A.L.R.2d 1404.

Power of prosecuting attorney to extend immunity from prosecution to witness claiming privilege against self-incrimination, 13 A.L.R.2d 1438.

Right of witness to refuse to answer, on the ground of self-incrimination, as to membership in or connection with party, society, or similar organization or group, 19 A.L.R.2d 388.

Inferences arising from refusal of witness other than accused to answer question on the ground that answer would tend to incriminate him, 24 A.L.R.2d 895.

Right of witness to claim privilege against self-incrimination on subsequent criminal trial after testifying to same matter before grand jury, 36 A.L.R.2d 1403.

Sufficiency of witness's claim of privilege against self-incrimination, 51 A.L.R.2d 1178.

Adequacy of immunity offered as condition of denial of privilege against self-incrimination, 53 A.L.R.2d 1030, 29 A.L.R.5th 1.

Right of state in criminal contempt case to obtain data from defendant by interrogatories or pretrial discovery as permitted in civil actions, 72 A.L.R.2d 431.

Testifying in civil proceeding as waiver of privilege against self-incrimination, 72 A.L.R.2d 830.

Pretrial discovery to secure opposing party's private reports or records as to previous accidents or incidents involving the same place or premises, 74 A.L.R.2d 876.

Accused's right to, and prosecution's privilege against, disclosure of identity of informer, 76 A.L.R.2d 262.

Admissibility of confession, admission, or incriminatory statement of accused as affected by fact that it was made after indictment and in the absence of counsel, 90 A.L.R.2d 732.

Comment on accused's failure to testify, by counsel for codefendant, 1 A.L.R.3d 989.

Dismissing action or striking testimony where party to civil action asserts privilege against self-incrimination as to pertinent question, 4 A.L.R.3d 545.

Requiring suspect or defendant in criminal case to demonstrate voice for purposes of identification, 24 A.L.R.3d 1261.

Propriety of cross-examining witness as to illicit relations with defendant in criminal case, 25 A.L.R.3d 537.

Propriety and prejudicial effect of comment by counsel as to refusal to permit introduction of privileged testimony, 32 A.L.R.3d 906.

Propriety of requiring accused to give handwriting exemplar, 43 A.L.R.3d 653.

Witness's refusal to testify on ground of self-incrimination as justifying reception of evidence of prior statements or admissions, 43 A.L.R.3d 1413.

Refusal to answer questions before state grand jury as direct contempt of court, 69 A.L.R.3d 501.

Privilege of witness to refuse to give answers tending to disgrace or degrade him or his family, 88 A.L.R.3d 304.

Propriety of requiring criminal defendant to exhibit self, or perform physical act, or participate in demonstration, during trial and in presence of jury, 3 A.L.R.4th 374.

Propriety and prejudicial effect of prosecution's calling as witness, to extract claim of self-incrimination privilege, one involved in offense charged against accused, 19 A.L.R.4th 368.

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