Understanding Georgia’s Harassment Laws
So we all know that physical abuse is a crime, but what about this: “Is verbal abuse a crime in GA?” The answer is that while not all forms of verbal abuse are considered a crime, certain types can cross the line into criminal behavior under Georgia law, particularly when they fall under the category of harassing communications or threats.
Let’s take a closer look.
What is Verbal Abuse?
Verbal abuse is defined as the use of words to cause harm to the person being spoken to.
It can include anything from name-calling and belittling comments to more explicit verbal threats.
While it is damaging and can lead to significant emotional distress, not all verbal abuse is considered criminal behavior.
The distinction becomes clear when we look at what constitutes harassing communications in the eyes of Georgia law.
What is Harassing Communications?
Harassing communications involve any form of communication, including verbal, that serves no legitimate purpose other than to harass, threaten, or intimidate another person.
This includes obscene calls or text messages, anonymous letters, or any other form of communication that causes emotional distress.
Georgia Harassment Laws
Let’s take a look at some of Georgia’s laws against harassment.
Under the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.) 16-11-39.1, harassment is defined as the act of communicating with another person in a manner likely to harass or cause alarm.
This includes making telephone calls without conversation, anonymously or at inconvenient hours, or making false statements about the person or their family.
Text Message Harassment Laws Georgia
Text message harassment is a form of harassing communication. Under O.C.G.A., it is illegal to send text messages intended to harass, threaten, or intimidate someone.
Phone Harassment Laws in Georgia
Similarly, phone harassment laws in Georgia prohibit making phone calls with the intent to annoy, harass, or intimidate another person, especially when these calls are made repeatedly or at inconvenient times.
Neighbor Harassment Laws Georgia
Neighbor harassment can also fall under the umbrella of Georgia’s harassment laws.
It includes any form of harassment directed towards a neighbor, such as verbal abuse, threats, or even repeated unwanted contact.
How to File Harassment Charges in Georgia
If you believe you are a victim of harassment, you can file charges in Georgia by reporting the conduct to your local law enforcement agency.
They will advise you on the next steps, which may include gathering evidence and filing a formal complaint.
Georgia Laws on Verbal Threats
Verbal threats can be considered a crime in Georgia if they cause the recipient to fear for their safety.
The threat must be specific, believable, and immediate to be considered criminal under Georgia law.
While not all verbal abuse is a crime in Georgia, certain forms of it, such as harassing communications or verbal threats, can be considered criminal behavior.
If you believe you have been a victim of such abuse, consult with a legal professional to understand your rights and potential legal remedies.