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Alaska Warrant Search

A warrant is a legal document the courts provide to authorize the police or another authority to search, implement judgments, or make arrests. Warrant searches in Alaska give detailed information concerning the open warrants in the state. They can be issued by local county, state, or federal law enforcement agencies, provided a judge has signed them. According to Rule 37 of criminal procedure, following the warrant identified in a charging document or a notice filed by the prosecutor, records and all related files are open for inspection. 


That is, unless the courts deem for a good cause, they remain sealed for a certain period. The initial document for charging in every prosecution must be accompanied by a list of numbers for every warrant issued in relation to the case as opposed to when the court waives the requirement. Once implemented, a prosecutor may also file a notice of the consecutive warrants provided concerning the case. 


The courts are mandated to provide access to the records of proceedings and related documentation, as well as legal representatives upon their request. As per the Alaskan Statutes, 12.61.120(a), the defense is not required to illustrate the telephone numbers and addresses of a victim or witness. Should the defendant proceed with the case without legal representation and want access to records, the courts are mandated to protect the addresses or phone contacts of victims, as well as witnesses. 


Warrants typically contain the names of the person to be detained, the caption of the court, the signature of the magistrate, the offense charged, the date of issue, and the officer to whom the warrant is being directed. At times, though, a warrant may have a factual mistake. The person’s name may be misspelled or have the wrong charge. Considering police do not usually show the warrant to the suspect, these would be errors that are sorted at a later date. That being said, law enforcement personnel are permitted to arrest an individual if they have cause to believe the person was involved in a crime. 


Accessing Warrant Information

Typically, following the identification of the warrant as a charging document or in a notice that the prosecutor files, records of proceedings, and all related files are open to the public. That is, unless the courts, following reasonable cause, show that the documents are to be kept confidential for a designated period. The initial charging documentation for every prosecution has to be accompanied by lists of numbers of warrants issued connected to the case. 


That would be unless the court waives the requirement for a good reason. Typically confidential material within a warrant is kept sealed until the warrant is identified in a charging document or notice filed by the prosecutor. It may also be unsealed by the courts. If four years have passed since the warrant issuance, the courts can order them to be made public. In accordance with state law, though, the courts protect the addresses and telephone numbers of victims or witness identities.


How Long Does a Warrant Stay Active in Alaska?

Warrants in Alaska do not have an applicable statute of limitations. If a suspect is hiding to try and avoid being arrested following a warrant, the statute is toiled during the time the person is on the run. Even if the subject flees state lines, the felony may be serious enough to mandate being served from anywhere in the country. Usually, it results in being extradited to Alaska to face the charges in court. Warrants typically remain open when the person dies or if the judge recalls the warrant following the dismissal of charges. For this reason, a person may be brought in for an outstanding warrant after a random traffic stop or checking in at the airport. 


Parole violations also attract a warrant for the subject, and it is valid until it is executed via the parolee's arrest. Alternatively, the warrant may be withdrawn by the parole board. 

Alaskan state law mandates that warrants should be implemented and returned within 30 days following the date of the issuance. Though, on an application made before the expiration of the initial 30 days or an extension, the court can allow an extension of the period for a reasonable amount of time. In this case, good cause would mean protecting the confidentiality of an ongoing investigation and protecting the individuals working with law enforcement in this right. 


Officers taking the property under the warrant are to provide the person from whom or whom the premises the property was taken a copy of the warrant. They are also to provide a copy of the supporting affidavits and the receipts for the property as taken. Officers should also leave a copy at the place where the property was taken. A return should be done immediately, accompanied by inventory concerning property taken from the search pursuant to the warrant. This has to be done in the presence of the applicant for the warrant and the individual from whose premises the property was taken should they be present. 


What Are the Most Common Warrants in Alaska?

In Alaska, warrants are documentation issued by magistrates or judges, authorizing law enforcement to arrest an individual that has been accused of a crime. Warrants may be issued for different reasons, depending on the offense. 


Arrest Warrants

According to state law, no separate terminologies exist for warrants brought by a crime or missing court appearances. Arrest warrants are grouped into two categories which are felonies and misdemeanors. In Alaska, a warrant may be brought on and dealt with differently. It can be issued in the event it is to prove that a crime has been committed and the individual named is the perpetrator. When the judge looks at the evidence and believes a conviction can be brought against said individual. Depending on the significance or the level of the crime, law enforcement officers may take action in serving the warrant. That may include publicizing the information about the person’s doings or keeping the warrant on record in anticipation of contact. If lethal force is required to apprehend the person, it is usually because the individual is dangerous and poses a risk to members of society. 


Child support arrest warrants in Alaska are common for failure to keep up with payments. The goal would be to bring the individual before the courts to resolve the issue. The parent can be charged with a felony should their past due support be more than $5,000 or if they have been delinquent for more than a year. The Child Support Services Division, under the state Department of Revenue, assists the custodial parents in implementing these orders. One may also check if they have an outstanding warrant for arrest in Alaska. 


There are different third-party websites one may use to inquire whether or not a person has an outstanding warrant. The Alaskan Department of Safety also provides access to a list of names with outstanding warrants. A quick check should reveal if one is wanted. If one finds an active arrest warrant in Alaska, the net course of action would be contacting a legal representative to advise on the way forward. 


Bench warrants 

These are general orders issued by a judge which authorize that a person should be detained following contempt of court or failing to show for a summon. It may sound similar to an arrest warrant, but whereas law enforcement officers serve the latter, bench warrants are issued by the courts. It is not common for law enforcement to execute bench warrants by showing up at the offender’s doorstep. Rather it can stay outstanding up to the time they encounter law enforcement personnel by accident. This can be risky, especially considering the police tend to run a warrant check at every random traffic stop.


If they find a bench warrant for the person, they are authorized to arrest that individual. The other option is turning in oneself to the police or to jail. Hiring an attorney beforehand to speak to the prosecution can also smooth things over. Depending on the offense, it may eliminate the possibility of the person going to jail. Most bench warrants are for minor crimes and have an amount attached, so if the person pays it, they will be set free and ordered to appear before the courts later. 


Following Senate Bill 91, a failure to appear charge in Alaska is considered a violation. These do not attract jail time but fines unless the reason is to avoid prosecution. If the person fails to appear or felony charges in court, that is a felony. In the future, Senate Bill 91 may be repealed so the penalties for these violations could become harsher. 


Search Warrants

A search warrant is authorized by a judge when following the determination of probable cause for its application. The warrant issued will also identify the property and the person's name to be searched. It can be directed to a peace officer of Alaska authorized to implement or assist in enforcing the law. The warrant mandates that the officer is charged to search the person or place named for the property specified within a reasonable period not exceeding 30 days of the warrant issuance. It is also to be served between 7 am and 10 pm unless the authority that issues it, via reasonable cause, claims the warrant should be executed outside these parameters. 


An individual that is aggrieved indicating there was unlawful search and seizure, can move the court where the judicial district where the property was seized or the courts where the property was utilized for its return. They can also suppress for usage anything obtained as evidence from the property because it was done so illegally. If the courts determine that disclosure of the informant's identity is unnecessary under Rule 16, they can initiate an in-camera recorded hearing. 


The goal would be to investigate and take evidence to assess if a search based on the informant’s details was allowed. It is up to the courts then to deny the motion to suppress the record and make written findings on the validity of the search according to the informer’s details. Alaska also allows for no-knock warrants. These allow law enforcement to enter a person’s premises or residence without announcing their presence. That is, there is reasonable suspicion that the person is armed or they could destroy evidence following the police announcing themselves. 


How to Perform Warrant Search in Alaska

It is possible to determine if a person has an outstanding warrant for their arrest in Alaska by doing a warrant search. There are three ways to do this, and they include looking up the Department of public safety, getting in touch with the clerk of the courts, and via the Alaska state troopers. 

Background Checks 

It is to verify the criminal history of an individual who is of interest or for employment purposes. According to Alaska state law 12.62.160, individuals may access criminal justice information via the Department of Public Safety. The web page provides a link at the bottom to access active warrants in Alaska. The link shows the person’s full name, gender, age, bail amount, criminal charge, warrant type, and court order number. It is possible to initiate a name-based search request or submit the party’s fingerprints for a specific search from the Criminal Records and Identification Bureau, though the results are not always available to every requester. Search warrants may not be public information, but arrest, civil, and bench warrants can be availed to all record seekers.

State Troopers

Interested parties can also get warrant information by contacting Alaska state troopers. They serve under the Alaska Department of Public Safety and have provided a directory of warrants within the state. This list is updated regularly, though the State Troopers have publicly declared that civilians should not use this information beyond forwarding it to local law enforcement. 

Clerk of the Courts

The clerk of the courts under the state judicial system maintains records such as dockets and warrants issued by judges. Interested parties can visit specific courthouses to initiate the warrant search process.


Counties in Alaska