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How to Find and Use Alaska Criminal Records

Alaska criminal records are widely used to conduct employment, licensing and security background checks. The process or the information trail begins when a particular criminal case is tried at one of the town, county, municipal courts, state trial courts or federal courts situated in the State of Alaska. The information from these courts is then forwarded to a centralized state repository which is controlled by the state law enforcement agency. Finally, the federal courts and the state repositories transfer the records to the FBI.

Apart from the state repositories and federal courts, other sources of criminal records in Alaska include prison systems, vendor databases, federal government watch lists and sexual predator lists.

Classification of Records


 
Alaska Criminal records can be divided into three different classes. These are infractions, felonies and misdemeanors. Infractions are minor offenses which are not punishable by a jail term. The minor offenses are traffic tickets, DUI and violation of municipal codes. Felonies are the most serious offenses that are punishable by a prison sentence of one year or more or probation. Misdemeanors are relatively less serious offenses in which the offender may be subjected to a prison term that is less than a year.

Need for Criminal Records



Alaska Criminal records available at

http://gov.state.ak.us/omb/results/view.php?p=131

provide descriptions of the offenses, maintain a list of the offenders, and include fingerprint identification along with the depositions and any notations of arrest of the offenders. The availability of information on the history of criminal records that is accurate and complete plays an important role in the following:
•    It enables the searcher to identify individuals who are not eligible to hold any positions of responsibility such as the care of the elderly, or children or the disabled.
•    It can help to identify people who are prohibited to purchase firearms or identify career criminals.
•    It helps the criminal justice agencies in their pretrial release decisions, correctional assignments and to determine sentencing.
•    It assists law enforcement in their criminal investigations and decision-making process.
•    It is a necessary tool for conducting background checks for employment, licensing, and national security.

Access to Alaska Criminal Records



All citizens residing in the State of Alaska have the legal right to access criminal records. However, all criminal records are not open to general public view. A court order or a statute may make the contents of the files confidential. These files can be accessed only when the date of the sealing expires or with the permission and approval of the state courts. 

Criminal records that are usually not open for public perusal include any communication and information shared between a physician and his patient, or between a psychologist and his patient. Additionally, any records or court proceedings that have juveniles as the main subject are automatically sealed by a statute and kept confidential.
   
Alaska offers two approaches for searching Alaska criminal records directly:
•    Courthouse search
•    State repository search

Courthouse Search



Criminal record searches that are carried out directly by individuals at the courthouse are name searches. This implies that a name is researched through a record docket index to establish if there is a record on that subject. The date of birth and Social Security number (SSN) is also required for accessing open records. In case there is no court personnel or official to help you look up the information, then it will provide a public access terminal for performing an index search. However, all courts do not honor search requests via mail or phone.

State Repository Search



Alaska has a central repository for all criminal records of individuals subjected to its criminal justice system. The database is maintained by the Department of Public Safety and the state police. The information includes details of depositions, arrests, charges and finger print identifications.
Two factors govern the criminal search process conducted at the Alaska law enforcement repositories:
•    Restrictions on accessibility to files and records
•    Accuracy of the contents of the criminal records





 

 

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