What if the abuser violates the order?
If you believe that the abuser has violated the protective order and you feel unsafe, you can immediately call 911 or your local police. Also, you can call your lawyer (if you have one), an advocate at a sexual assault organization, and/or let the court know about the violation by filing a violation petition in court. The violation of an order can be a misdemeanor crime, which can be punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $25,000.1
According to Alaska law, the police are supposed to make an arrest if:
- you report the violation within 12 hours after it happened; and
- the police have “probable cause” (a reasonable belief) that the crime of violating the protective order likely occurred.2
To determine if there is probable cause, officers may talk to you, the abuser, and any other witnesses, examine the place where the violation happened, and consider other relevant factors. However, you should know that there are some exceptions to these general rules, so an arrest might not be made in every case.
Note: When the police arrive, it is generally a good idea to write down the name of the officer(s) that are there and their badge numbers in case you want to follow up on your case. Make sure a police report is filled out, even if no arrest is made. This type of documentation may help you get the order modified (changed) in the future, if necessary.
1 Alaska Statute § 18.65.865(b)
2 Alaska Statute § 18.65.530(a)(2)