Even people who are ordinarily law-abiding may occasionally have too much to drink and act in a way they later regret. It’s a mistake, to be sure, but it’s a very common one. Unfortunately, public drunkenness and disorderly conduct may still be charged as crimes in Alaska.

Being charged with alcohol-related or disorderly conduct crimes, especially if they were out of character for you, is a difficult experience. In addition to facing potential fines and jail time, your reputation in the community may suffer. And if you are unfamiliar with the court system, as many people charged with these crimes are, the legal process can be bewildering and intimidating.

An experienced criminal defense attorney can both guide you through the legal process and minimize the effect that one brief mistake has on your future. Attorney Eric Derleth is an Alaska native with more than 25 years of experience defending clients charged with disorderly conduct or alcohol-related crimes in Alaska’s courts. He is known as “the Trial Guy” because of his strong track record in the courtroom—and his experience and preparation often enable him to get charges dismissed or reduced before a trial becomes necessary.

Alcohol-Related Crimes in Alaska

Alcohol-related crimes are classified as Class A misdemeanors. Class A misdemeanors are punishable by a fine of up to $25,000 and a year in jail. The following are situations that may be charged:

  • A person who is 19 or older encouraging a child to consume alcohol
  • Selling or distributing alcohol to someone who is under 21 years of age
  • Possessing and consuming alcohol if you are under 21 years of age
  • Purchasing alcohol for yourself or someone else if you are under 21 years of age
  • Asking someone to purchase alcohol for you or someone else if you are under 21 years of age.
  • Misrepresenting a minor as someone of legal drinking age in order to encourage someone else to give the minor alcohol
  • Misleading someone by giving false information about your age to get alcohol

Most of us know someone who has done one of these things; these actions show poor judgment, but they shouldn’t have to ruin your life. Get a solid defense to make sure they don’t.

Public Intoxication and Disorderly Conduct

In Alaska, public intoxication itself is not a crime, but is often connected with other criminal behavior, such as disorderly conduct. People who are under the influence of alcohol or another substance in public may commit vandalism, trespass on property, threaten others, or create a disturbance that is chargeable as a crime.

The act of intentionally creating a threat, risk, or disturbance to others constitutes disorderly conduct. Disorderly conduct is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 and 90 days in jail. Disorderly conduct in Alaska may involve:

  • Playing loud music with the intent to disturb others, or continuing to play loud music after being warned that it is disturbing others
  • Refusing to disperse when lawfully ordered to do so by a peace officer
  • Fighting (other than in self-defense) or challenging someone to a fight
  • The act of unnecessarily challenging another for a duel to create a scene
  • Recklessly creating a condition that is hazardous to others, with no good legal reason for doing so
  • “Mooning” people

The behavior described above is often associated with drinking, and like excessive drinking, often results from a momentary mistake. To avoid paying a steep price for a brief lapse in judgment, contact an experienced Alaska criminal defense attorney,

What to Do If You Are Arrested for Disorderly Conduct or Alcohol-Related Crimes

Don’t make a bad situation worse. Be respectful of the arresting officer, and don’t lie or give false information. Listen to what you are told, and speak as little as possible. If you are questioned, politely say that you want your lawyer present before answering any questions. Then contact Eric Derleth immediately.

How an Experienced Alaska Criminal Attorney Makes a Difference

Alaska police officers and prosecutors see a lot of alcohol-related crimes, including disorderly conduct. That means they have a lot of experience successfully prosecuting these crimes. Your charges may be all in a day’s work for them, but a conviction could disrupt your life, and cost you your job, relationships, reputation, and freedom. You need a defense attorney who is prepared to protect you; you need the Trial Guy.

Even with over 25 years of experience in criminal defense, Eric Derleth never takes shortcuts. He is respected throughout Alaska for both his meticulous trial preparation and his skill connecting with juries. If you have been charged with disorderly conduct or alcohol-related crimes in Alaska, don’t put your rights at risk with an attorney who lacks experience or dedication.

Based in Soldotna, Eric Derleth represents clients in Kenai Peninsula, Anchorage, the Mat-Su Valley, Juneau, Fairbanks, and other areas throughout Alaska. To learn about your options and protect your rights, call Eric at 907-262-9164 or contact The Trial Guy to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation today.