Alaska District Attorneys

The Alaska district courts are trial courts. They handle misdemeanor criminal cases and civil cases where the amount in controversy is less than $100,000. If there is an appeal in district court, it goes to the superior courts. Despite its large land mass, the sparsely populated state of Alaska has just four regional judicial districts.

District Attorneys (D.A.) assess, prepare, and file criminal charges. They refer cases, such as violent crimes and DUIs, to a grand jury for possible indictment. A grand jury is a group of people who consider evidence to determine if there is cause to charge someone with a criminal offense. The grand jury decides if there is enough evidence to prosecute a case, while a trial jury determines guilt or innocence.

The Anchorage District Attorney's Office is Alaska's largest district attorney's office. It employs 37 attorneys and 12 victim-witness paralegals focusing on victims' rights. The office has several specialized units, including:

  • General Trial Unit
  • Domestic Violence Unit
  • Sexual Assault Unit
  • Major Crimes Unit

Sometimes, it makes sense to contact the D.A.'s office if you're involved in a criminal case, especially if you want a plea bargain. But it's best to follow the advice and counsel of your attorney before doing so. In most instances, your attorney will want to communicate with the office on your behalf.

Remember that the D.A. is working hard to convict you, so you don't want to reveal details about your defense strategy or say anything that could hurt you at trial.

Public Defenders

Alaskans with low incomes who need help with criminal law matters have options. Public defenders are Alaska attorneys who provide legal representation for those who cannot afford to hire a private attorney. They are defense lawyers whose aim is to uphold justice and public safety.

The judge appoints public defenders. According to Alaska law, a defendant can get court-appointed counsel if the court finds that the "total financial resources available to the defendant are insufficient to pay allowable household expenses and the likely cost of private representation through trial." The judge may refer the case to the public defender's office or a local private lawyer if the public defender's office has a conflict with your case.

Alaska also has a federal public defender. They handle federal criminal cases.

Self-help, or representing yourself, is not advised when facing criminal charges.

Those with low incomes can turn to Alaska Legal Services Corporation (ALSA) for free help when the issues involve civil law. Its attorneys represent Alaskans in legal issues ranging from:

  • Consumer law
  • Family law
  • Housing problems
  • Public benefits
  • Healthcare
  • Alaska Native law
  • Areas specific to veterans and the elderly

Another resource is Alaska Law Help. The website provides information on various free and low-cost legal programs in Alaska for seniors and those with low incomes. You can also check with the Alaska Bar Association for a referral.

Alaska Attorney General's Office

The Alaska Attorney General (A.G.) is the state's top prosecutor and law enforcement officer. The A.G. heads the Alaska Department of Law. The A.G. represents the state in litigation, such as when the state sues the federal government or other entities. The A.G. also enforces consumer protection laws.

While District Attorneys prosecute state crimes within their designated regions, the A.G. represents the entire state.

Juvenile Justice

The Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) handles crimes committed by minors. The DJJ is part of Alaska's Department of Health and Social Services. The exception is when a minor gets waived into adult court, reserved for serious crimes such as murder. In such cases, the D.A. prosecutes the crime as if the defendant were an adult.

Directory of Alaska District Attorneys

There are four judicial districts in Alaska's 12 counties in the Alaska court system. Contact information for the D.A.'s office is on the links below.

Note: Although we strive to provide the most current contact and website information for the D.A. offices in this state, this information is subject to change.

Get Professional Legal Help With Your Alaska Criminal Case

If you are charged with a crime, the state's criminal division will use its resources to get a conviction. Sound legal advice is essential. A criminal defense attorney can protect your legal rights. Contact a skilled Alaska criminal defense attorney near you today.

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