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Alaska Arrest Records

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Are Arrest Records Public in Alaska?

Arrest records in Alaska are public records. According to Alaska’s Public Records Act, any member of the public may access public records in the state by submitting a request to the respective law enforcement agency. Records may be maintained in different jurisdictions, including local police departments, the courts, and its record custodians, the Criminal Records and Identification Bureau, and the Alaska Department of Public Safety.

Under limited circumstances, state laws allow for the expungement of arrest records in Alaska. However, there are some exemptions to the public records act. Public health records, medical and public health records, and records of juveniles are some of the available exemptions. The law also exempts sealed records and those otherwise protected from public access by federal or state statutes.

What is Considered an Arrest Record in Alaska?

An arrest record in Alaska is a report that law enforcement officers produce after arresting persons who violate the state’s criminal code. Typically, arrest records contain information about the arrested person’s booking, the alleged offense, and other personal information.

Arrest records are a vital part of criminal justice processes, especially in cases that involve trials. Even in cases where arrests do not result in charges or criminal convictions, arrest records form part of a person’s criminal record and remain accessible to the public until such records are sealed or expunged.

What is Contained in an Alaska Public Arrest Record?

As earlier stated, arrest records are law enforcement reports produced after a person’s arrest. Typically, arrest records contain the following information:

  • Personal information: Arrest records contain personal identifying information such as the alleged offender or arrested person’s names, date of birth, phone number, residential address, social security number, and other contact details
  • Physical description: The weight, height, gender, eye color, race, hair color, and any other distinguishing characteristics of an arrested person, including marks, tattoos, or scars, feature in arrest records.
  • Event description: An arrest record must contain a detailed description of the events leading to the arrest, including the alleged offense and reports from victims or witnesses. It also includes the location, time, and date of the arrest.
  • Offense classification: Alaska state statutes classify offenses into felonies, misdemeanors, and violations. Arrest reports detail the category of the alleged offense.
  • Booking information: Arrest records contain the offender’s fingerprints, photographs, arrest location and date, booking number, bail amount, bail type, court dates, outstanding warrants, and any filed criminal charges,
  • Arrest records also contain information about police interrogation as it pertains to the arrest.

Who Can Access Arrest Records in Alaska?

As provided by the Alaska Public Records Act (APRA), arrest records are public records, and any individual may access them upon request to designated law enforcement agencies. This means that subjects of the records, legal advisors, witnesses, victims, insurance companies, employers, courts, law enforcement agencies, and any other interested parties may access arrest records in Alaska. However, arrest records may be inaccessible to the public under certain circumstances:

  • Records that pertain to or contain information about juveniles may be inaccessible to the public except the court authorizes access. If the juvenile agrees to a background check, certain employers may also be able to access juvenile records. This particularly applies if the employment involves responsibility or frequent interaction with vulnerable people. Such employers are typically in the medical, education, military, and other law enforcement fields.
  • In cases where public access could constitute an unwarranted invasion of the subject record’s privacy or unduly endanger the subject, the record may be exempt from public access.
  • Arrest records that could disclose the identity of a confidential source or disclose confidential law enforcement techniques are exempt from public access under ARPA.
  • If public access to an arrest record would likely interfere with law enforcement processes, the record may be inaccessible to the public.

Records exempted from public access under federal laws may also not be accessible to the public.

Alaska Arrest Statistics

The Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR) is a combined effort by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, state, and local law enforcement agencies to report crime data from each jurisdiction. Under AS 12.62.130, up to 32 law enforcement agencies in Alaska submitted crime data in 2020, representing about 99.5% of the state population.

Generally, crime rates were reduced in Alaska in the year 2020. Law enforcement agencies arrested fewer people for violent crimes and infractions. For example, according to the Crime in Alaska report (2020), the robbery rate was reduced by 14.7%, and rape reduced by 3.1% from the previous year. Motor vehicle theft, arson, and aggravated assault decreased by 25.4%, 31.7%, and 2.9%, respectively from the previous year.

In 2020, law enforcement agents arrested 25,798 people aged 18 and over and a total of 1,067 persons under 18. The offenses with the most arrested persons under 18 include drug possession (98 persons arrested), driving under the influence (33 persons arrested), violation of liquor laws (47 persons arrested), and other offenses (100 persons arrested). For persons aged 18 and above, the most prevalent causes of arrest were driving under the influence (3,028) arrested), aggravated assault (2, 132 arrested), larceny (1507 arrested), vandalism (947 arrested), and other assaults (4,352 arrested).

It is important to note that the UCR collects data on the total number of arrested persons statewide, whether such persons are charged or not. Additionally, in cases where a person is arrested on more than one charge, the UCR only records arrests under the most serious charge.

Obtaining Public Alaska Arrest Records

An Alaska arrest search is a process utilized to access arrest record information. The process can provide the searcher with details of the arrest as well as the circumstances surrounding the apprehension.

Alaska arrest records contain information about a person’s history of arrests, detention, or questioning by the police concerning criminal acts or events. Every arrested person has an arrest record, regardless of whether the person is charged to court or not. However, it is important to note that a person’s arrest history is not their entire criminal history. This is because, in some cases, arrests do not result in convictions or charges. Nonetheless, in Alaska, arrest records may contain some criminal history information, even though they cannot be substituted for Alaska criminal records.

How Do I Lookup Someone’s Arrest Records in Alaska?

State laws make access to third-party arrest records easy and relatively straightforward. Alaska does not have an official repository for arrest records; therefore, any interested party may request personal or third-party arrest records by visiting local police departments or county sheriff’s offices. Some local law enforcement agencies offer records request services on their website; interested parties may contact the agencies for information on how best to request arrest records.

Interested parties may also view or look up arrest records through Alaska’s Court View, a website that provides access to public court records. To use this website, requesting parties must provide the subject’s name, booking number, arrest date, or location. The court may charge a fee to grant access to copies of court records; interested parties may pay online through Court View using Visa or Mastercard credit cards. It is important to note that the court removes certain records from the public index, including:

  • Records of cases dismissed due to an error in the charging document or a lack of evidence
  • Records of cases where the court sets aside the conviction and the defendant completes a sentence imposition.
  • Records of alcohol-related cases that involve minors
  • Records of cases that result in a dismissal or acquittal
  • Records of other cases that qualify for removal under the state’s administrative rules

Third-party websites also provide access to public arrest records. Interested parties may obtain the required information from such websites.

Interested parties may obtain physical copies of arrest records from the clerk of court or records department in the court where the case was filed. The court allows in-person, fax, mail, or email requests. Parties may request arrest records using the request forms for each court location. The court charges $5 for the first part of a requested document. Each additional document or part costs $3. Research is charged at $30 per hour.

Another way to look up arrest records is to request such records from the Criminal Records and Identification Bureau. Requesting parties may submit fingerprint identification requests or name search requests. To make a fingerprint identification request, the requester must submit their fingerprints along with the record subject’s signature as proof of consent. A fingerprint check costs $35 in Alaska, and additional copies cost $5 each.

Requesting parties may submit name search requests to the Criminal Records and Identification bureau by mail or in person. Such parties must submit a Criminal Justice Information form along with a $20 fee. The bureau accepts payment by money order or check.

How to Subpoena Arrest Records in Alaska

Subpoenas, also called subpoenas duces tecum, are written orders by the court that compel the recipient or addressee to perform specific actions, such as attending court or producing documents. Suppose a person or entity requires an arrest record exempt from ARPA or otherwise restricted from public access. In that case, such a person may subpoena the arrest record by filing a motion or request with the court.

Typically, arrest records are subpoenaed when needed for judicial processes. In this case, the court directs the maintaining officer or agency to produce the arrest record in question before the court at a specified time. According to Alaska’s Rules of Criminal Procedure, the petitioning party must serve the respondent the subpoena; service may be through a peace officer or any other person aged 18 and above who is not a case party. The process serves a copy of the court order to the person named on the subpoena order. Alternatively, the court clerk may serve the subpoena on the petitioner’s behalf by certified or registered mail.

How to Search for an Inmate in the Alaska Prison System

Alaska Department of Corrections (ADOC) has administrative oversight of incarceration facilities and inmates in the state. The department provides rehabilitative programs, safe confinement, supervision, and other initiatives to enhance community safety.

Parties interested in searching for inmates in the Alaska prison system may contact local law enforcement agencies, sheriff’s offices, or incarceration facility supervisors directly. ADOC does not offer online databases or remote access to inmate information. Alternatively, interested parties may contact the ADOC in person, by mail, phone, or fax to request inmate information. ADOC has central offices in Anchorage and Juneau; interested parties may contact the department using the following information:

Anchorage Office
550 West 7th Avenue, Suite 1800
Anchorage, AK 99501 (-3570)
(907) 334-2381
(907) 269-7390

Juneau Office
802 3rd Street
Douglas, AK 99824
P.O. Box 112000
Juneau, AK 99811-2000
(907) 465-4652
(907) 465-3390

Crime victims may call (800) 247-9763 toll-free to get information on an inmate’s current location and possible release date. To obtain updated information on inmate location, requesting parties must have the inmate’s names and aliases, age, date of admission, inmate number, and other information required for proper identification.

How Do I Find Out if Someone Was in Jail in Alaska

ADOC does not offer inmate information on official websites. Therefore, to find out if a person was in jail in Alaska, interested parties may conduct a background check or request the person’s criminal history information. A person’s criminal history information contains identifying information, past and present conviction information, correctional treatment information, and non-conviction information. The Criminal Records and Identification Bureau maintains criminal history information in Alaska. While court records are public, information held by the Criminal Records Identification Bureau is confidential, and release is subject to authorization by state laws. The info a requesting party receives from the Criminal Records and Identification Bureau depends on the purpose of the request. For example, persons requesting information for employment purposes may obtain more information than persons who make other third-party requests.

Interested parties may request criminal history records through fingerprint identification requests or name-based searches. Of both methods, fingerprint search tends to be more accurate as it delivers search results for specific persons. Whereas, a limitation of name search is that it may miss critical information entered under other names or aliases. Additionally, name searches may take longer to streamline as more than one person with the same name. Fingerprints for the request must be submitted in the standard format or be rejected.

It is important to note that juvenile records are not publicly accessible and may not be included in the state’s repository of criminal information. However, if the court adjudicates the juvenile as an adult or convicts the juvenile of certain offenses, such as driving with a suspended license or driving under the influence of alcohol, the record of such events may form part of the juvenile’s criminal history record.

How to Find Recent Arrests in Alaska

In Alaska, recent arrests are maintained by the arresting agency. Since Alaska does not have counties or Sheriff’s offices, these records are generated by Alaska state troopers for their respective judicial districts. For instance, in Anchorage, arrest record information can be made to the Anchorage Police Department in person or via mail. To find recent arrests online, requesters may query using the APD records center through which they can access police department records.

How Long Do Alaska Arrest Records Stay on File?

Alaska state statutes do not offer statewide guidelines on arrest records retention duration. However, Alaska uses retention schedules in determining the maintenance period for each record. According to AS 40.21.030, the state’s archivist reviews and approves records retention schedules for all government agencies under the Records and Information Management Services program. There are general schedules, which apply to many government offices and schedules specific to government agencies. For example, Alaska has a retention schedule for local government model records. According to this schedule, arrest records stay on file until the subject is deceased or ten (10) years after the subject’s death. While some cities adopt this schedule, each local agency reserves the right to develop its retention schedules. This means that record retention timelines may differ from one agency to another.

Retention schedules contain record titles, content, retention periods, and instructions for final disposition. These schedules reduce the likelihood of improper record disposal and help with the proper disposal of obsolete materials. The chief executive officer of each government agency develops retention schedules using a comprehensive appraisal and audit process, which includes reviews of applicable laws, legal and financial consultation, and consultations with archivists.

Interested parties may contact the Record Officer for the appropriate government agency to discover any existing retention schedules for arrest records.

Are Arrest Reports Public in Alaska?

In Alaska, arrest reports are generally subject to public record laws except where protected by law. An arrest report is a detailed document created by a law enforcement officer at the time of an individual's arrest. It typically includes information such as:

  • The name and personal details of the arrested individual (e.g., age, address, and occupation).
  • The date, time, and location of the arrest.
  • The circumstances leading to the arrest, including the officer's observations, witness statements, and any evidence collected.
  • The specific criminal charges being filed against the individual.
  • A narrative description of the events surrounding the arrest, including any use of force or resistance by the arrested individual.

On the other hand, an Alaska arrest record is a more concise document that summarizes an individual's history of arrests. It typically includes:

  • The individual's personal information (e.g., name, date of birth, and physical description).
  • The dates and locations of past arrests.
  • The criminal charges associated with each arrest.
  • The final disposition of each arrest (e.g., conviction, acquittal, dismissal, or pending).

Summarily, the arrest report serves as a detailed account of the arrest for law enforcement and prosecutorial purposes. It may be used in court proceedings as evidence, and it helps prosecutors determine whether to pursue charges. On the other hand, arrest records are primarily used for background checks and to track an individual's criminal history. Law enforcement agencies maintain them and they can be accessed by authorized individuals or organizations, such as employers or landlords.

How to Obtain Arrest Records for Free in Alaska?

Parties interested in obtaining arrest records for free in Alaska may contact local law enforcement agencies directly. Alaska courts provide online access to arrest records; however, the court charges a fee to access the service. Interested parties may request arrest records free from the county clerk or record custodian in the locality where the case was heard. The court may charge fees to produce record copies.

How to Search for an Alaska Arrest Record Online Using a Third-Party Search Service

Sometimes, state courts do not offer online access to case information on government websites, thus making it difficult for requesting parties to access the required information. Other times, requests routed through official channels may involve wait times. In such cases, requesting parties may find arrest records and other information through third-party search services.

To find Alaska arrest records online using third-party search services, the requesting parties must enter the required information on their preferred website. Such information may include the record subject’s names or booking numbers. Some third-party websites require one-time access fees, while others operate subscription models.

How to Correct an Arrest Record in Alaska

The Department of Public Safety (DPS) allows record subjects to update or correct arrest records. Interested parties may simply fill and submit a Request to Correct Criminal Justice Information. This form enables interested parties to update or correct errors arising from the following conditions:

  • Mistaken identity or false accusations: When the arrest record contains inaccurate identifying information or the form includes a crime the subject was never charged with or arrested for; the affected party may request an update or correction.
  • Charge information error: In cases where the information on the record subject’s charge is not up to date, the subject may request an update. An example is when the court reduces a person’s felony charge to a misdemeanor, but the record still shows a felony charge.
  • Erroneous personal descriptors: If the social security number, name, or date of birth of a record subject are wrongly entered, the person may request an update but provide supporting documents such as state-issued identification along with the request.
  • Wrong or missing disposition: The subject may request an update when a record contains outdated or inaccurate disposition information. For example, if the court dismisses a charge, the record still states that the subject is guilty.
  • Missing set-aside information: If the court grants a suspended imposition of a sentence which is later set aside, the record subject may provide documentation to move the disposition to “Set aside”.

How to Expunge Arrest Records in Alaska

Alaska does not currently provide for the expungement of criminal history records. However, it may be possible to seal arrest records if the subject is falsely accused or a victim of mistaken identity. The subject must be able to prove the acceptable grounds beyond a reasonable doubt. AS 12.62.180 allows criminal justice agencies to seal information that the agencies maintain. Therefore, a requesting party may then fill and submit a request to seal criminal justice information to the Department of Public Safety at the following address:

Alaska Department of Public Safety
R&I - Quality Assurance Unit
5700 E. Tudor Road
Anchorage, AK 99507

Anchorage Municipality
Fairbanks North Star
Juneau City and Borough
Kenai Peninsula
Matanuska Susitna