2022 Georgia Code
Title 16 - Crimes and Offenses
Chapter 11 - Offenses Against Public Order and Safety
Article 2 - Offenses Against Public Order
§ 16-11-39. Disorderly Conduct

Universal Citation: GA Code § 16-11-39 (2022)
  1. A person commits the offense of disorderly conduct when such person commits any of the following:
    1. Acts in a violent or tumultuous manner toward another person whereby such person is placed in reasonable fear of the safety of such person’s life, limb, or health;
    2. Acts in a violent or tumultuous manner toward another person whereby the property of such person is placed in danger of being damaged or destroyed;
    3. Without provocation, uses to or of another person in such other person’s presence, opprobrious or abusive words which by their very utterance tend to incite to an immediate breach of the peace, that is to say, words which as a matter of common knowledge and under ordinary circumstances will, when used to or of another person in such other person’s presence, naturally tend to provoke violent resentment, that is, words commonly called “fighting words”; or
    4. Without provocation, uses obscene and vulgar or profane language in the presence of or by telephone to a person under the age of 14 years which threatens an immediate breach of the peace.
  2. Any person who commits the offense of disorderly conduct shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
  3. This Code section shall not be deemed or construed to affect or limit the powers of counties or municipal corporations to adopt ordinances or resolutions prohibiting disorderly conduct within their respective limits.

History. Code 1863, § 4271; Ga. L. 1865-66, p. 233, § 2; Code 1868, § 4306; Ga. L. 1872, p. 9, § 1; Code 1873, § 4372; Ga. L. 1875, p. 25, § 1; Code 1882, § 4372; Ga. L. 1890-91, p. 83, § 1; Penal Code 1895, § 396; Penal Code 1910, § 387; Ga. L. 1919, p. 103, § 1; Code 1933, § 26-6303; Ga. L. 1963, p. 455, § 1; Code 1933, § 26-2610, enacted by Ga. L. 1968, p. 1249, § 1; Ga. L. 1974, p. 470, § 1; Ga. L. 1992, p. 6, § 16; Ga. L. 1995, p. 574, § 3.

Cross references.

Constitutional guarantee of free speech and press, Ga. Const. 1983, Art. I, Sec. I, Para. V.

Further provisions regarding unlawful communications by telephone, § 46-5-21 .

Use of telephone to transmit obscene or lewd communications for commercial purposes, § 46-5-22 .

Law reviews.

For article recommending more consistency in age requirements of laws pertaining to the welfare of minors, see 6 Ga. St. B.J. 189 (1969).

For comment discussing the constitutional standard for judging obscenity, in light of Miller v. California, 413 U.S. 15, 93 S. Ct. 2607 , 37 L. Ed. 2 d 419 (1973), see 10 Ga. St. B.J. 327 (1973).

For note discussing First Amendment problems in application of this Code section with particular reference to Breaux v. State, 230 Ga. 506 , 197 S.E.2d 695 (1973), see 25 Mercer L. Rev. 371 (1974).

For article, “Misdemeanor Sentencing in Georgia,” see 7 Ga. St. B.J. 8 (2001).

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