HAWAII CRIMINAL LAW
Criminal law encompasses a variety of offenses, from everyday infractions to more severely punished felonies. The punishments and sentences assigned by the court vary based on several different factors such as the particular circumstances surrounding the offense and whether or not the defendant has past convictions.
Here you can find general information on Hawaiian criminal law and procedure. It is advisable to contact a Hawaii criminal defense attorney who can help you raise the best possible defense.
Drug Possession in Hawaii
In Hawaii, possession of illegal drugs is a crime classified and punished according to the type and amount of drug a person knowingly possesses. A person commits the offense of "promoting a detrimental drug" in the third degree, which is a petty misdemeanor, if he or she knowingly possesses marijuana or certain other drugs—listed in the Hawaii criminal code— in any amount. Conviction of this offense carries jail sentences of up to thirty days. The offense is in the second degree and is classified as a misdemeanor if the possession is of one ounce or more of marijuana; second degree possession carries sentences of up to one year in jail.
A person convicted for the first-time of a drug possession offense is eligible to be sentenced to probation if he or she meets several criteria, such as having a nonviolent history and being diagnosed with a substance abuse problem. In such cases, the court may sentence the defendant to a substance abuse treatment program, not jail time, and will expunge the record of conviction for that particular drug offense.
For more information on the drug categories and sentences that correspond to drug possession charges, speak with a Hawaii criminal defense attorney.
Assault in Hawaii
In Hawaii, a person commits assault in the first degree if the person intentionally or knowingly causes serious bodily injury to another person. Assault in the first degree carries jail sentences of up to ten years. A person commits assault in the second degree if he or she intentionally or knowingly causes substantial bodily injury to another; recklessly causes serious or substantial bodily injury to another; or intentionally or knowingly causes bodily injury to specified individuals such as medical workers or government officials. Assault in the second degree carries a potential jail sentence of up to five years.
Assault in the third degree occurs when the defendant has intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly caused bodily injury to another person, or negligently caused bodily injury to another person with a dangerous instrument. As a misdemeanor, third degree assault carries a jail sentence of up to one year. If you are charged with assault as a result of getting into a mutual fight, you will be charged only with a petty misdemeanor; you may face up to thirty days in jail. If you or someone you know has been involved in an incident that could give rise to an assault charge, it is a good idea to speak with a Hawaii criminal defense attorney who can help you prepare a defense.
Hawaii Drunk Driving – DUI
Drunk driving is one of the most common criminal offenses today. If you have been charged with a DUI or DWI in Hawaii, there can be several consequences such revocation or suspension of your driving license, fines, and/or prison time. If you have received a DUI in Hawaii, you should consider consulting a Hawaii DUI attorney.
Right to a Jury in Hawaii
The Hawaii state constitution provides that in all criminal prosecutions, the accused has a right to speedy and public trial by an impartial jury in the district where the crime was committed. Your Hawaii criminal defense attorney can help you decide whether it would be in your best interests to reserve the right to a jury trial, or to waive it.
Trial Date in Hawaii
In Hawaii, defendants have a constitutional right to a speedy trial; this right is preserved by bringing defendants to trial within 180 days of their indictment. Individuals already imprisoned in another state have the same right, but their 180 days begin running when they provide written notice to the Hawaii prosecutor and court of the prisoner's current place of incarceration.
Sentence Review / Appeals in Hawaii
A defendant who has been convicted by a circuit court of a criminal offense may appeal the sentence or judgment to the intermediate appellate court. All appeals should be filed with the clerk of the Hawaii state supreme court and are subject to one filing fee. If you were convicted of a criminal offense in a district court, appeals on the record are available for final decisions and final judgments. You should appeal to the intermediate appellate court within thirty days.
When putting together an appeal, it is advisable to seek the assistance of a Hawaii criminal defense attorney.
Hawaii Revised Statutes Click Here To See The Following Statues: