Domestic violence remains a problem throughout the United States, and Alaska legislators took action to deal with those who harm children, spouses, and other loved ones. A mandatory arrest law seeks to place an abuser in custody, an effort that may provide a temporary solution through immediate action. Placing an aggressive abuser in custody could prevent the person from escalating the violence against the victim.
Alaska and the arrest statute
Under Alaska law, statutes establish a mandatory arrest for any crime involving domestic violence or a violation of a protective order. The statute also extends to any breaches of conditions of release. The law may act as a deterrent for some domestic abusers, but that is not always the case. However, if the abuser violates the statute, a police officer can place the person under arrest.
A police officer does not need a warrant to make the arrest, nor must the crime occur in the officer’s presence. However, elements of the statute extend some rights to the accused abuser.
Statutes and rights
As with all charges, the accused maintains their constitutional rights, including being presumed innocent until proven guilty. The courts must follow the language of the law when reviewing the defendant’s case. The law states a police officer must have probable cause that someone commits domestic violence or otherwise violates the statute. The defendant’s counsel could question the validity of probable cause in court. Without probable cause, the arrest and charges might not stand.
Unfortunately, some accusations of domestic violence are outright false. False accusations may derive from attempts to gain the upper hand in divorce proceedings or child custody hearings. Hopefully, the truth will come out in court when the allegations are false.