Alaska Bail Law:

Below are the most current bail laws we have for this state. Send updates to your state's bail laws to us using our contact form. This is not legal advice as laws change all the time. Please check with the department of insurance for the most recent updates.

1. Applicable Statutes

  • Alaska Statutes: Title 21: Insurance Code, Section
  • Alaska Administrative Code, Title 3, Section 23
  • Alaska Code of Civil Procedure, Section 9, Provisional Remedies
  • Alaska Court Rules of Criminal Procedure, Rule 41: Bail

It appears that governance by local rule is allowed in Alaska , and the Department of Insurance is the regulatory body.

2. Licensing Requirements:

In Alaska , a bail bond agent is licensed as a “bail bond limited producer.” This means a person who is licensed under AS 21.27.150 to transact surety or limited surety, and who is appointed by an authorized insurer to transact, execute or countersign bail bond transactions in connection with judicial proceedings in return for money or other things of value. [3 AAC 23.859]

The Director of Insurance may provide a bail bond limited producer license to a person who is appointed by and acts on behalf of a surety insurer pertaining to bail bonds. [AS 21.27.150]

3. Notice of Forfeiture

The clerk shall send notice of the judgment of forfeiture to the defendant, defendant’s attorney and the person giving or pledging the security at their last known addresses. The notice must state that a hearing will be held on the forfeiture if timely requested pursuant to subparagraph (h)(3).

4. Forfeiture to Judgment. [ACRCP 41]

The clerk may sign the judgment of forfeiture if directed to do so on the record in the particular proceeding by the judge in which the defendant has failed to appear. However, the judgment of forfeiture may not be enforced until a hearing is held pursuant to subparagraph (h)(3) or, if no hearing is requested, until 30 days after the date of notice of the judgment of forfeiture.

If requested by the defendant or surety within 30 days of the date of notice of the forfeiture, the court shall hold a hearing to determine whether the defendant’s failure to appear was willful. The state, the defendant, the defense attorney, and the surety have the right to be heard at this hearing.

5. Defenses to Forfeiture

The court shall set aside the judgment of forfeiture:

  • If it is proven by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant’s failure to appear was not willful. [ACRCP 41]
  • If the court concludes that justice does not require the enforcement of the judgment.
  • In case of defendant’s death, imprisonment in a penitentiary, or legal discharge from the obligation to be amenable to the process. [ACCP 09.40.210]

6. Remission [ACRCP 41]

Within one year after entry of judgment of forfeiture, a person who has given or pledged security may apply to the court for a remission, either in whole or in part, based on the return of the defendant with the assistance of the person who gave or pledged security or upon such other extraordinary circumstances as justice requires. The conditions of remission may include payment of expenses incurred for enforcement of the forfeiture and for securing the return of the defendant to custody.

7. Bail Agent’s Arrest Authority [ACCP Sec. 09.40.200]

For the purpose of surrendering the defendant, the bail agent may personally arrest the defendant, or, by a written authority endorsed on a certified copy of the undertaking, may empower a peace officer to do so.

8. Noteworthy Appellate Decisions

Lonis v. State of Alaska , 998 P.2d 441 (Alas. 2000)

Holds that the legislature has given courts broad power to set conditions of release, and it has equipped courts with various methods of enforcing those conditions of release. But, with respect to bail forfeiture, AS 12.30.060 and Criminal Rule 41 speak of imposing this penalty for only one type of violation–a defendant’s failure to appear. The court therefore rejects the state’s argument that the statute and the rule should be interpreted as implicitly granting courts the authority to forfeit bail in other circumstances.

The court also rejects the state’s argument that despite the statute’s silence on the issue of non-monetary conditions of release, courts still possess a common law power to seize a defendant’s bail when the defendant violates one or more non-monetary conditions. The supreme court recognizes that if courts were allowed to seize a defendant’s bail for violation of non- monetary conditions of release, this would work a major change in the law of bail, and it would likely affect the readiness of sureties (both commercial and informal) to pledge their money and property to secure a defendant’s release.

In short, the court held that the judge erred when he ordered forfeiture of the defendant’s bail money for reasons other than non-appearance.

2. Adkerson d/b/a Fred’s Bail Bonding v. State of Alaska , 731 P.2d 1218 (Alas. 1987)

Fred P. Adkerson d/b/a Fred’s Bail Bonding (Adkerson) posted a $50,000 bail bond for Mohammed Nissani, then under indictment for theft and forgery. Nissani fled the state before trial. The bond was ordered forfeited in November 1983. Nissani was eventually arrested by federal authorities and returned to Alaska. After Nissani’s return, Adkerson moved to reinstate and exonerate the bond. Superior Court Judge Paul B. Jones denied the motion, concluding that the superior court has no power to remit forfeited bail bonds. The state argued that, because Criminal Rule 41(d)(2) provides that a surety may appeal from a judgment of forfeiture, the surety may not seek remission.

The court concludes, however, that this argument does not apply because there is no rule authorizing remission in specific circumstances. Therefore, there is no basis to imply excluding forfeiture in these circumstances. The court also concludes that a superior court has discretion to order remission of a forfeited bond.

Although Supreme Court Order No. 157 removed the specific authority in the rules to remit a bond, it does not indicate intent to disallow remission. Therefore, remission is not prescribed by the rules and the superior court may act within its discretion in any lawful manner.

In exercising its discretion, a court may consider all relevant factors, including: (1) cost, inconvenience, or prejudice to the government in regaining custody, (2) delay resulting from the nonappearance, (3) willfulness of the failure to appear, (4) public interest in ensuring the appearance.

It is within the court’s discretion to set aside bail forfeitures.

9. Bounty Hunter Laws

Alaska does not have provisions regarding bounty hunters.