2022 Georgia Code
Title 16 - Crimes and Offenses
Chapter 3 - Defenses to Criminal Prosecutions
Article 2 - Justification and Excuse
§ 16-3-20. Justification

Universal Citation: GA Code § 16-3-20 (2022)

The fact that a person’s conduct is justified is a defense to prosecution for any crime based on that conduct. The defense of justification can be claimed:

  1. When the person’s conduct is justified under Code Section 16-3-21, 16-3-23, 16-3-24, 16-3-25, or 16-3-26;
  2. When the person’s conduct is in reasonable fulfillment of his duties as a government officer or employee;
  3. When the person’s conduct is the reasonable discipline of a minor by his parent or a person in loco parentis;
  4. When the person’s conduct is reasonable and is performed in the course of making a lawful arrest;
  5. When the person’s conduct is justified for any other reason under the laws of this state, including as provided in Code Section 51-1-29; or
  6. In all other instances which stand upon the same footing of reason and justice as those enumerated in this article.

History. Code 1933, § 26-901, enacted by Ga. L. 1968, p. 1249, § 1; Ga. L. 1999, p. 81, § 16; Ga. L. 2015, p. 598, § 2-2/HB 72.

Law reviews.

For survey article on criminal law, see 60 Mercer L. Rev. 85 (2008).

For article on the 2015 amendment of this Code section, see 32 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 63 (2015).

For article, “HB 479: Repeal of Georgia’s Citizen’s Arrest Law,” see 38 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 25 (2021).

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