What is the legal definition of domestic violence?
This section defines domestic violence for the purposes of getting a protective order. According to Alaska law, domestic violence is when a “household member” commits or attempts to commit one or more of the following crimes against you or against another household member (but s/he doesn’t have to be arrested):
- a “crime against the person,” which includes the crimes listed in chapter 11.41 of the law (or similar crimes in other states);
- burglary (1st degree and 2nd degree);
- criminal trespass (1st degree and 2nd degree);
- arson (1st degree, 2nddegree, and 3rd degree);
- criminally negligent burning (1st degree and 2nd degree);
- criminal mischief (1st degree, 2nd degree, 3rd degree, 4th degree, and 5th degree);
- terroristic threatening (1st degree and 2nd degree);
- harassment (2nd degree - but only sections (a)(2),(3),(4));
- violating a protective order - (but only section (a)(1)); and
- cruelty to animals if the animal is a pet (but only section (a)(5)).1
Note: A “household member” does not have to live with you.
In your petition for a protective order, and when you speak to the judge, you should describe what the abuser did to make you need the court’s protection. You are not responsible for knowing exactly what criminal law the abuser violated.
1 Alaska Statute § 18.66.990(3)