Law Enforcement and Crime
This section explains important parts of what may happen if law enforcement officials think you have or are committing a crime. Here you can find out when police can stop you, search you, or arrest you, and what your rights are if any of these things happen to you. This section also explains criminal proceedings, beginning with the juvenile justice system. Juvenile justice may be informal or may involve formal proceedings, including the stages of pre-adjudication, adjudication and disposition. But if you are over 18 or if a judge has decided you should be tried in adult court, you will go through adult criminal proceedings which have some important differences from the juvenile justice system. You can find more information about the justice system in Alaska and how it may affect juveniles at the How Juvenile Justice Works website.
This section also explains some kinds of help you can get if you are the victim of a crime or if you are a witness to a crime. Finally, this section tells you about some kinds of crimes and what behavior can make you guilty of those crimes.
Important Note: In this section, the word “police” or “law enforcement officers” includes city or borough police, Alaska State Troopers, or Village Public Safety Officers (VSPO’s).