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Important Decision By Hawaii Supreme Court

Important Decision By Hawaii Supreme Court

Today the Hawaii Supreme Court issued an important decision regarding the rights of persons accused of crimes, but specifically regarding issues that arise frequently for those arrested for DUI. I am please to have been a part of this case submitting an amicus brief on behalf of the Hawaii Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. The case, State v Alkire, involved a person arrested for DUI. The attorney for Alkire, whom I have worked closely with on many occasions, requested the preservation of station videos and also requested to receive the videos. The Hawaii Supreme Court ruled that those videos are materials to the preparation of a defense and Alkire was entitled to them. Furthermore, if the State fails to preserve them, as it seems was done in Alkire’s case (at oral argument the prosecutor did not even know if the videos had been destroyed but assumed they were), then the case should be dismissed or at least an adverse inference should be used that the lost or destroyed materials support the defendant’s case. The case also addressed the habit that local court have of starting a matter and not finishing it then but continuing the case for months on end. That was held to violate the defendant’s rights. These are matters that few attorneys raise and Alkire’s attorney and myself are two such attorneys. We have been making these arguments for years. This case will be used to further defend your rights and I will take the case to lay the groundwork for greater protections of my clients.

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