In Alaska, felonies are crimes that are punishable by terms in state prison. Felonies may be unclassified or may be designated as class A, B, or C. Less serious crimes (misdemeanors) are punishable by terms of one year or less in local jail.
For more information on misdemeanors in Alaska, see Alaska Misdemeanor Crimes by Class and Sentences.
Under Alaska’s laws, unclassified felonies are the most serious crimes, punishable by lengthy prison terms and large fines. Examples of unclassified crimes include murder, attempted murder, and sexual assault. Murder in the first degree is punishable by 20 to 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000.
(Alaska Stat. §§ 11.81.250, 12.55.035, 12.55.125.)
Class A Felonies
Class A felonies in Alaska are punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. (Alaska Stat. §§ 12.55.035, 12.55.125.) First degree assault (intentionally causing serious injury to another) is an example of a class A felony.
Class B Felonies
Under Alaska’s laws, a class B felony is punishable by up to ten years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $100,000. (Alaska Stat. §§ 12.55.035, 12.55.125.) For example, it is a class B felony for a person to sell or furnish marijuana to a minor who is at least three years younger than the defendant.
For more information on this crime, see Alaska Marijuana Laws.
Class C Felonies
A class C felony conviction is the least serious type of felony conviction in Alaska and can result in a prison term of up to five years and a fine of up to $50,000. (Alaska Stat. §§ 12.55.035, 12.55.125.) Promoting (making money from or facilitating) prostitution is a class C felony.
For more information prostitution and related crimes, see Prostitution, Pimping, and Pandering Laws in Alaska
Statutes of Limitations
A statute of limitations is a time period during which the state must begin criminal prosecution or the defendant can have the case dismissed. The statute of limitations begins to “run” when the crime is committed. Very serious crimes, such as murder and certain sexual assaults, have no statutes of limitations in Alaska.
For more information, see Alaska Criminal Statute of Limitations.
The Value of Legal Representation
If you are charged with a felony, you should contact a local criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. A felony conviction can result in severe and lasting consequences. In addition to time in prison and a fine, a felony conviction can make it difficult to find (or keep) a job or obtain certain government benefits. Talking to an attorney can help you understand the criminal justice process and protect your rights.