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3 FAQs about domestic violence charges in Alaska

The state of Alaska takes domestic violence seriously. If you find yourself accused of it, you face a complicated situation with potentially severe consequences.

According to research by the Alaska Criminal Justice Commission, approximately 5,550 to 7,000 criminal cases filed in the state involve domestic violence. When in the situation, you likely have many questions.

1. Does Alaska have a mandatory arrest law?

Yes. Alaska statutes allow police officers to make an arrest regardless of a warrant when a crime involves domestic violence. This law includes arrests for violating a protective order. Police officers must have probable cause to make the arrest. Even if you get arrested, you still maintain your constitutional rights.

2. How does the law define domestic violence?

Alaska considers domestic violence as a crime one household member commits against another. The state also applies this term to abuse against people you may not live with, such as a former spouse, a current love interest, or a family member. Along with physical violence, abusive patterns, such as intimidation, manipulation, coercion, and humiliation, fall under psychological abuse.

3. What does a conviction mean?

In Alaska, domestic violence charges mean you face a felony conviction. The penalties associated with this will vary based on your situation. If the case involves attempted murder or sexual assault, it comes with the possibility of up to 99 years in prison and a fine of $500,000. Even the least serious type of felony, Class C, may result in five years of incarceration and paying a $50,000 fine.

Regardless of your charges, you have presumed innocence until the prosecution proves your guilt.