Misdemeanor Charges in Hawaii
Honolulu Criminal Defense Attorney
Misdemeanors are crimes typically punishable by no more than one year in jail. Fines, probation and/or community service may be added as punishment. There can be collateral consequences such as driver's license revocation or professional license interference.
There can be full or petty misdemeanors, but both are still considered criminal convictions. While misdemeanors are considered less serious than felonies, they still can have a negative effect on a person's life when, for instance, an employer or landlord runs a background check.
My Hawaii law firm, The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady, LLC, provides cutting-edge defense for individuals throughout Honolulu who are faced with all types of misdemeanors. If you want to work with a Honolulu criminal defense lawyer who has more than 25 years of legal experience, pick up the phone and call my office right away!
If you are facing criminal charges, schedule a case review with an experienced attorney today!
What are the punishments for misdemeanors in Hawaii?
The type of penalty given for a misdemeanor conviction depends on the misdemeanor classification. Certain misdemeanors are more serious than others. For example, an assault offense will typically result in harsher penalties than disorderly conduct. There are, however, a number of other factors that can impact the severity of the penalties, such as the defendant's criminal history, or the defendant's ability to secure probation.
A few examples of common misdemeanor crimes include:
- Disorderly conduct
- Reckless driving
- Drug possession
- Open alcohol containers
- Staying in a park at night
- Abuse of a family or household member
- Terroristic threatening
A person who is convicted of a misdemeanor will usually face penalties such as fines, probation, and / or jail time. Prison time will usually not be a possible penalty, as this punishment is typically reserved for felony convictions. Some lower level misdemeanors are classified as petty misdemeanors, and have lower punishments:
- Includes: Disorderly conduct, DUI, theft, harassment, driving without a license
- Up to 30 days in jail
- A fine of up to $1,000
- Include: Drug possession and assault
- Up to 1 year in jail
- A fine of up to $2,000
The Effects of a Misdemeanor on Your Record
Misdemeanor charges oftentimes have names that amplify the severity of the alleged crime. Even though the facts of your case might bring to your mind names such as disorderly conduct, profane language, unlawful or unwanted touching, or a verbal marital argument, you could be facing charges that go by the names of terroristic threatening, assault, abuse of a family or household member, or domestic violence assault. If you don't have an experienced attorney on your side, you run a greater risk of having these types of stigmatizing criminal convictions on your record.
Misdemeanors as Priors
You should keep in mind that prosecutors, police officers, and future employers whom you come across in the future will not view your misdemeanor conviction as just a minor event, no matter what types of misunderstandings were involved in your case. They will simply see it as a criminal conviction and imagine all the worst possible facts for the names associated with the criminal charge.
Prosecutors will hold it against you in any future cases, even if you are only in court for a speeding ticket. Legislators also consider this when naming the crimes and when they attach additional collateral penalties that might affect your professional license, driver's license, or ability to keep/bear arms or otherwise exercise your Second Amendment rights.
In fact, there is a federal law that specifically embraces only misdemeanor convictions of a particular character, domestic violence, broadly defined, to forever extinguish your Second Amendment constitutional and fundamental right to keep and bear arms in defense of yourself, your family, and your property.
Can misdemeanor charges be dropped?
Criminal charges can be dropped under certain grounds for dismissal. Some instances where charges could be dropped include:
- If an illegal stop or search occurred
- If there was a lack of probable cause for the arrest
- If there is a lack of evidence for the prosecution to prove the crime was committed
- If there was an improper criminal complaint
- If there was no witness to prove that the crime occurred
- If there is insufficient evidence to prove that the defendant is guilty
Contact My Hawaii Firm for Legal Counsel
Some misdemeanors cannot be expunged or set aside. Even if a crime is designated as a misdemeanor, hire an experienced attorney to protect your good name and future. Your concerns and your freedom are our number one priority when building the defense for your case. I am a former prosecutor and former law enforcement officer who knows how to properly navigate the criminal justice system!
Protect your future and your rights. Schedule a free legal consultation with our attorney to plan your defense!