If you are facing domestic violence charges, there’s a good chance you have several questions about what to expect. It’s imperative that you consult with a criminal defense attorney right away to ensure your rights are protected and you know what steps to take to increase your chances of a favorable outcome. Alaska’s domestic violence laws are some of the strictest in the nation, and a conviction can result in long-term consequences. Here are the answers to some of the most common inquiries on the topic.
FAQs About Domestic Violence Laws in Alaska
What Is Alaska’s Mandatory Arrest Statute?
Alaska operates under a zero-tolerance policy for cases of domestic violence. The state has a mandatory arrest statute in place that requires law enforcement to arrest anyone suspected of committing domestic violence or violating a protective order. This means if the police are called and you are accused of a domestic violence act, it’s likely you will be arrested without hesitation. Additionally, it’s common for the prosecution to refuse any requests from the alleged victim to drop the charges.
What Acts Qualify as Domestic Violence in Alaska?
Alaska’s definition of a “crime involving domestic violence” is very broad. While most people understand that a physical assault can constitute domestic violence, Alaska law also includes crimes like burglary, arson, trespassing, criminal mischief, harassment, violating a restraining order, terroristic threatening and, under certain circumstances, cruelty to animals involving pets..All of these crimes can be considered domestic violence if the other party is a spouse or former spouse, someone the accused is dating or formerly dated, someone with whom the accused is engaged in, or has been engaged in, a sexual relationship, a person who lives or previously lived in the same residence and even some more distant relatives.
How Does a Domestic Violence Charge Impact Child Custody?
When deciding a child custody case, there is a long list of factors the judge must consider before reaching a decision, which includes evidence of domestic violence. If the judge finds you have caused serious physical injury in one incident or committed multiple incidents without causing substantial injury, you will not be awarded sole physical or legal custody or joint physical or legal custody. The only way to overcome this is by having your attorney help show you’ve successfully completed an intervention program for domestic violence offenders, you have not engaged in any substance abuse, and that having some form of custody is in your child’s best interest.
What Are the Requirements of a Protective Order?
If you have been arrested for domestic violence, or even without being arrested, your alleged victim may seek a protective order against you. In the event a court grants their request, the order may, among other things, require you to leave your own home, discontinue drinking alcohol, stay away from the alleged victim’s workplace, give monetary support to the alleged victim, pay child support, attend an abusers intervention program, pay any medical expenses associated with the alleged abuse, and surrender all firearms.
If you are accused of domestic violence charges, you will need a skilled criminal defense attorney to advocate on your behalf. The Law Office of Philip Shanahan has been representing the residents of Anchorage, AK, for over two decades. He offers a longstanding track record of success and can be entrusted to fight aggressively to uphold your freedom and rights. Call (907) 334-3339 to schedule a consultation with an attorney you can rely on, or visit his website for more information.