Governor Walker Signs SB 54 to Provide Law Enforcement with More Tools - P.O.W. Report

Monday, November 27, 2017

Governor Walker Signs SB 54 to Provide Law Enforcement with More Tools

NOVEMBER 27, 2017 ANCHORAGE - Governor Bill Walker signed into law Senate Bill 54, the majority of which took effect at 12:01 a.m. today.

"The passage of SB 54 helps to build a Safer Alaska," Governor Walker said. "While some portions of the legislation may need to be addressed by the court system, this law is an important first step in returning some important tools to the law enforcement community."

Below highlights five major points in SB 54:

* Class C Felonies - SB 54 changed the presumptive sentencing ranges. First offenses changed from a probationary sentence to a term of 0 to 2 years of jail. Second felony offenses changed from 1 to 3 years to 1 to 4 years. Third class C felony offenses remain unchanged. Due to these changes, courts should be more willing to hold offenders on bail for a first C felony conviction because the sentence can include active jail time.

* Theft in the Fourth Degree - SB 54 created a new graduated sentencing structure for theft of property valued at less than $250. For a first conviction, a court is authorized to sentence a person for up to five days of jail time. For a second conviction, the sentence can be up to 10 days and for a third conviction, up to 15 days. On a fourth conviction, the offense is upgraded to a class A misdemeanor (theft in the third degree), which under most circumstances will be punishable by up to 30 days of jail time.

* Violating Conditions of Release - SB 54 returned the offense to a misdemeanor, punishable with up to five days of jail time. Returning this offense to a misdemeanor clarifies for judges and law enforcement alike that a person may be arrested and held until bail is set on the new offense.

* Mandatory Probation for Sex Offenders - SB 54 reestablished a mandatory period of probation for sex offenders. Unclassified felonies receive 15 years of probation, class A or B felonies receive 10 years of probation and class C felonies receive 5 years of probation.

* Sex Trafficking Adjustments - SB 54 amended the statutes to ensure those who profit from other sex workers can be held accountable as sex traffickers.

[Read Department of Law's bill review here.]

Read More: [Editorial] Taking Care of Our Own….Stop Giving Money to Foreign or Out of State Organizations!

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