The laws on STDs and certain conduct are confusing throughout the country. In Georgia, is it a crime to have sexual intercourse if you have an STD?
Since the HIV and AIDS epidemic erupted over 30 years ago, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the virus and the disease. Many states have enacted laws that make it a crime for someone to transfer a sexually transmitted disease to another person, such as through sexual intercourse. Georgia’s laws are more limited than they are in other states. Currently in Georgia, the STD laws only apply to certain venereal or sexually transmitted diseases.
Transferring an STD to another person in Georgia is taken seriously. Individuals convicted of the crime could face up to 10 years in state prison. It is for this reason that anyone charged with transmitting an STD must speak to a Georgia criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Georgia allows state prosecutors to levy criminal penalties in some situations when someone with either HIV or hepatitis engages in certain types of conduct. However, a person who knowingly or intentionally passes an STD to another person may face other charges, such as assault.
Within the state, a person who has HIV cannot take part in certain activities. That person cannot engage in sexual contact with another person, share hypodermic needles, offer to perform sexual acts for another person, or ask someone else to engage in sexual acts for money. Individuals with HIV also cannot donate bodily fluids or bodily substances.
Under Georgia law, individuals with HIV or hepatitis are also prohibited from committing an assault against law enforcement by using bodily fluids such as saliva, urine, or blood. This is considered a separate crime from assault.
Defenses to Transmitting an STD
Although facing charges of transmitting an STD might seem hopeless, there are defenses available. The defense used will depend on the circumstances of the case, but a criminal defense attorney can determine which defense is best for you.
The first possible defense is when a person did not know he or she was infected with an STD. If a person had not yet been diagnosed when he or she engaged in certain conduct, that person has not committed a crime.
The other defense is if a person infected with an STD discloses the condition before engaging in prohibited conduct. In the case that someone with HIV, AIDS, or hepatitis tells a person that he or she is infected after engaging in prohibited conduct, this cannot be used as a defense.
Are You Facing Charges? Speak to Our Georgia Criminal Defense Attorneys
Facing charges of assault or transmitting an STD might seem like a hopeless situation. Fortunately, it is not. At Ghanayem & Rayasam, we are the Atlanta criminal defense lawyers that know how to defend those accused against these charges. We will ensure your rights are upheld, collect evidence to prove your claim, and give you the best chance of a positive outcome. If you have been charged, do not try to take your case on alone. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.