What Is a Class B Felony in Alaska?
In Alaska, there are three felony categories and several unclassified felonies, such as murder in the first degree and sexual assault, that are listed separately under state law. Class A contains the most serious felonies outside of non-classified felonies, while Class C is the least serious class. Class B felonies include:
- Sale of marijuana to a minor
- Burglary – second degree
- Robbery – second degree
- Forgery – second degree
Maximum and Minimum Sentences
Alaska has an indeterminate sentencing system. The presumptive range for a Class B felony is a maximum of no more than 10 years in prison. Fines also may be levied by the court, up to $100,000. The state’s Code of Criminal Procedure includes a number of circumstances in which more specific, determinate sentences should be imposed.
Alaska lists a number of specific Class B crimes that require definite sentencing ranges. For example, the solicitation or attempt to manufacture methamphetamine would trigger a sentence range of 2 to 4 years. Ranges closer to the 10-year maximum for Class B would be triggered if prior felony convictions were present. It is possible for a defendant arrested for a non-violent Class B felony to be sentenced to probation or some other type of community punishment. However, the defendant must be a first-time offender. In addition to enhanced sentences for crimes involving weapons, habitual offenders and sex crimes, there are a number of aggravating circumstances that can trigger a specific minimum and maximum range in Alaska. These include crimes in which three or more victims were targeted, the defendant was out on bond at the time of the offense, a drug crime was committed on school grounds and the defendant was paid to commit the crime.
Loss of Rights and Benefits
As soon as you are convicted you will lose the following rights in Alaska:
- Hold state office
- Own or possess a firearm
- Serve on a jury
- Hold some jobs, particularly those in the healthcare field, that require state or federal licenses
The right to run for public office or to serve on a jury is automatically restored after the completion of the felony sentence. The right to vote is not automatically restored, however. Instead, a felon must first re-register with the Division of Elections. The right to carry a concealed weapon is lost for 10 years following any felony conviction in Alaska. For a violent felony, firearms rights are lost permanently and can only be restored with a pardon from the governor.
Employment and Housing with a Felony Record
It is not uncommon for those with felony records to need help finding a job or housing in Alaska. Many employers and landlords will be cautious with felons and have the right to conduct a criminal records check to determine if any applicant has been convicted. One resource for jobs is the Alaska Department of Labor, for a listing of re-entry programs and employers otherwise willing to hire those with criminal records.
Clearing Your Record
There is no expungment and no record-sealing statute in Alaska. Someone with a Class B felony conviction can apply for a pardon from the Alaska Board of Parole. While there is no required waiting period, experts say it is a good idea to wait a significant amount of time – even beyond the length of your felony sentence. Pardons are rarely granted in Alaska, with only a handful given out in the 15-year period ending in 2012.
This article is for informational purposes only. If you need legal advice, you should visit an attorney.