Fighting words might get you punched in the face. But in Snellville, they also might send you to jail.
Since 1997, a city ordinance has made it illegal to use “fighting words” in Snellville. The ordinance declares that fighting words “by their very utterance, tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace” and may provoke violence.
Fighting words are also mentioned in the Georgia disorderly conduct law. The Snellville ordinance is almost exactly the same as the section of that law classifying “fighting words” as disorderly conduct.
The “fighting words” bans differ from Georgia’s terroristic threats and acts law. Fighting words are defined as “opprobrious or abusive words” that may lead to a breach of peace or “violent resentment.” Terroristic threats are specifically defined as violent threats.
So, while threats and abusive words may get you in trouble across the Peach State, in Snellville, you can be formally charged with “fighting words.”