Ask a Trooper

Posted: Monday, May 21, 2001

Question: I see in most of your columns that you refer to a specific statute with abbreviations.

What do they mean, and how can I learn more about a specific statute?

Answer: I'm glad to hear you're interested in learning more about the laws. Each law is found under a general section, and then broken down more specifically. For example, let's take A.S. 11.41.230(a)(1). A.S. stands for Alaska Statute. The first number, title 11, covers all criminal statutes (as opposed to title 28 for example, which covers vehicle laws).

The next subsection is 41, which covers crimes against people, as opposed to property, etc. Subsection 230 refers to assault in the fourth degree, and section (a)(1) refers to the specific element that says it is a crime to recklessly cause physical injury to another person.

If you want to learn more about a statute, there are several ways you can do that. Most public libraries have a copy of all the state statutes.

All state courthouses also have a law library that is available to the public, but they are not usually open the whole time the courthouse is open, so check with the clerk about times and conditions.

Finally, if you have access to the Internet, all state statutes are available there as well. Go to your favorite search sight and put in the numbers exactly as they appear in the column, leaving off the A.S.

This will allow you to read the whole statute, which is often very enlightening.

If you have questions that you would like to ask a trooper, please send them to: Alaska State Troopers, 4060 Heath St., Homer, AK 99603. Or you can e-mail them to Chad_Goeden@dps.state.ak.us.

The Alaska State Troopers remind you to always wear your seat belt. It's the law.



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