Are Criminal Records Public in Hawaii?
Yes. Uniform Information Practices Act (UIPA) gives all members of the public access to public criminal records. All documents filed and kept by any government agencies in the state are public records. Therefore, members of the public are granted unlimited access to examine or print any record of interest. However, some lawful exemptions can prevent public access to some documents. Moreso, when some documents are sealed or expunged, it restricts public access to them. A criminal record search will typically provide the following information:
- Offender's name and known aliases
- Physical descriptions
- Body markings
- Age, date of birth
- Offense committed
Criminal records, considered public in the United States, are made available through some third-party aggregate sites. Searching with third-party websites is often easier as the information is not limited to geographic record availability. Information found on third-party websites can serve as a jumping off point for parties searching for a specific record or multiple records. Typically, requesters must provide the following information to gain access to these records:
- The record subject's name, unless the subject is a juvenile.
- The record subjects' last known location, including cities, counties, and states.
Third-party websites offer these search services, but they are not government sponsored. Availability of records may vary.
What is Considered a Criminal Record in Hawaii?
Criminal records in Hawaii are official information and documents generated and maintained on a person concerning possible or confirmed violation of the Hawaii Penal Code and other laws in which offenses are described.
These records are also known as rap sheets and are one of several police records created when criminal justice departments interact with an individual in Hawaii. Besides criminal records, such police records include arrest records, arrest warrants, incident reports, and police logs. However, criminal records are the most comprehensive of these records because they show definitive proof of a person's criminal involvement or innocence.
What Shows Up on a Criminal Record in Hawaii
Criminal records cover information beyond a person's conviction by a court. It also includes non-conviction records generated by law enforcement agents for arrests, questioning on suspicion, or accusation of involvement in a crime, even when there are no charges or prospect of a conviction.
How to Obtain Criminal Records in Hawaii?
Requests for criminal records in Hawaii can be made to any of the local government agencies in the state. For instance, the Hawaii Department of Police (HDP) maintains a repository of criminal records. Alternatively, a requester can make a criminal record search through the Online Criminal Background Check System.
More so, most counties maintain criminal records which the locals can access through the Sheriff's office for nominal fees. It is possible to access these records for free, especially if the requester uses third-party websites that public criminal information for free. However, there may be some limitations to the information that may be gotten from a free public criminal record check.
Are Arrest Records Public in Hawaii?
Once a law enforcement agent makes an arrest, it has to be documented. Hence, a file is created for the arrested suspect. According to the Hawaii UIPA, arrest records are public records and therefore, accessible to any interested public member. The Hawaii Department of Police maintains a central repository of public arrest records in the state. To perform an arrest search, you can check with the county sheriff's office or the HDP. While it is possible to get free arrest records, a requester has to pay for standard copies or certification.
What is Considered an Arrest Record in Hawaii?
Hawaii arrest records are documents containing the official information on when, how, and who was taken into custody by law enforcement agents as part of their responsibility in investigating crimes and apprehending criminals. A person's arrest record would usually name and describe the person, provide the date of arrest, reasons for arrest, fingerprint, and subsequent actions following the arrest, such as detention and court procedure.
A person may be arrested on complaint or suspicion of a crime, as part of an investigation, or in the process of committing a crime. Although arrests do not always lead to criminal charges and prosecution, arrest records still form part of the information that may be of interest to persons looking into a person's criminal history. Arrest records older than one year with no subsequent charges laid against the arrestee are not publicly disseminated. However, they are still accessible to authorized persons such as government agencies (when considering employment and licensing suitability), criminal justice agencies, and the person named on the record.
Hawaii Arrest Warrants
A Hawaii arrest warrant is a document containing the legal authority conferred on law enforcement officers by the court to apprehend or arrest a person who is suspected or reasonably believed to have committed a crime or is involved in criminal activity. An arrest warrant also gives the arresting officer the authority to perform a warrant search on the arrested suspect. The arrest warrant can also serve as an active warrant search that authorizes the law enforcement agency to keep investigating the suspect until law enforcement can find the evidence against such a person.
An arrest warrant in Hawaii may contain:
- Name of the person to be arrested
- Aliases or other descriptions by which the person is known
- The offense for which the person is being arrested
- Order of arrest issued by the court
- Court summons ordering the arrested person's immediate appearance.
How to Lookup Hawaii Inmate Records
Hawaii inmate records are official documents of information about persons held in the custody of law enforcement agents or correctional facilities and institutions. Inmate records provide information about persons who have been convicted of a crime and sentenced to a term of incarceration. Jail records may contain information about persons who were convicted and sentenced for a misdemeanor offense or persons who were arrested and detained in the custody of a law enforcement agency pending when they post bail or a formal court appearance.
Inmate records in Hawaii are generally not available on the official website of the Hawaii Department of Public Safety (DPS), but an interested person can carry out an inmate search at the Correction Division of the DPS or the county where the prisoner is being held. Alternatively, a requester can perform an inmate lookup through the Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification (SAVIN) website.
How Do I Find Sex Offenders in Hawaii?
The Hawaii Sex Offender Registry contains information on persons who have been convicted for a sex-related offense and living in Hawaii. Sex offenders are required under Hawaii laws and Megan's law to submit information to law enforcement agencies. The information includes their name, vehicle information, the sexually motivated crime for which they were convicted, street of residence and employment, fingerprint, photograph, and other relevant information that may be of interest to the public and law enforcement. Information on registered sex offenders appears online and are accessible to the general public. A person may also sign up to be notified of offenders moving into close proximity. Also, the national sex offender registry is the database for all sex offenders in the United States.
Understanding OVUII Laws in Hawaii
Operating a Vehicle under the Influence of an Intoxicant OVUII or DUI is a serious traffic violation, with serious consequences, including a jail term. Depending on the circumstances, an OVUII in Hawaii could be a petty misdemeanor depending on the driver's blood alcohol content (BAC). A driver's state of concentration is impaired when driving a motor vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant and is capable of causing damages to both human lives and properties. OVUII or DUI is punishable under Hawaii OVUII laws or any other law in which the offense is described.
Hawaii Misdemeanors Laws: Offenses and Penalties
A misdemeanor under Hawaii law could be a full or a petty misdemeanor. Misdemeanors are defined in comparison to felonies as offenses with lesser ramifications according to Hawaii Penal Code. A petty misdemeanor is the least consequential offense under Hawaii law and is punishable by a maximum of 30 days in local or county jail and a fine not exceeding $1000. Misdemeanors are punishable with up to 1 year in county jail, and an offender may be liable to pay up to a $2000 fine. Examples of misdemeanors include:
- Drug possession
- Reckless driving
- Disorderly conduct
- Staying in a park at night
- Resisting arrest
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
- Terroristic threatening
- Persons convicted for a misdemeanor may also face probation time.
Hawaii Felony Laws: Offenses and Penalties
A felony is classified as an offense with a possible penalty of more than one year in state or local confinement in Hawaii. According to the felony definition, the three categories of felonies attract different sentence levels based on their severity as contained in the penal code. The Hawaii Penal Code provides for an indeterminate sentencing system for felony charges. The court may also impose a fine at its discretion up to the amount permissible under the law for each class of felony.
- Class A felonies carry the highest possible sentence, apart from murder. A person convicted of a class A felony may be sentenced to up to 20 years imprisonment without the possibility of probation or suspension.
- Class B felony offenders, if convicted, may be sentenced to up to 10 years imprisonment and up to a $25000 fine. The court may consider previous convictions and the peculiar facts of the offender's case in determining the stringency of the imposed sentence.
What is Probation and Parole in Hawaii
Parole records are official documents that include information about persons who have been determined eligible for early release or released from incarceration by the Hawaii Paroling Authority (HPA). The HPA is a parole board and a nonjudicial body that determines the minimum term a person must serve in incarceration out of the term to which the court sentenced them before they can be released to the community under strict conditions and supervision. Once an inmate is guilty of a parole violation, the parole board can decide to extend the period before being released to the community.
Are Probation Records Public in Hawaii?
Probation records are generally open to the public. They contain information on persons that have been convicted for a crime but have been sentenced to a term outside of prison or jails. Members of the public can obtain probation records from the probation office in Hawaii. A person guilty of probation violation may face a jail term. Probation is usually ordered in proportion to the crime, and a probationer under the supervision of a probation officer is required to follow strict rules and conditions imposed by the court, which may include:
- Mandatory visits by probation officers to their residence
- Making restitution to victims as ordered by the court
- Remain within the jurisdiction of the court unless granted permission
- Maintain the same residence or employment unless granted permission to the contrary
- Pay fine
Are Hawaii Juvenile Criminal Records Public?
Juvenile criminal records in Hawaii are generally not open to the public. Juvenile criminal records contain protected details of persons below the official adult age of 18 who have appeared before a court to be tried or adjudicated for their involvement in criminal activity. The Hawaii Family Court has jurisdiction to hear an allegation of crimes committed by children or adolescents who are not yet of legal adult age. However, a young person may be tried as an adult if the family court, at its discretion, transfers their case to a regular court after an amenability hearing determining the nature and gravity of their offense. Juvenile records are generally confidential in Hawaii except for circumstances provided by the law in which the young person 14 and older or 16 and older are tried as adults for crimes that result in the death of a person, causing serious bodily injury, is a class A, B, or C felony.
What are Conviction Records in Hawaii?
A conviction record contains information on the findings and order of a trial court with regards to the charges before it against a named individual. A person may be convicted for a crime by a judge, a jury, which finds them guilty of a crime after considering the evidence presented in court. A conviction may also result from a guilty or no contest plea entered by the offender in response to the charges levied against them.
Hawaii History and Accuracy of Criminal Records
Human errors cannot always be avoided when collecting criminal records. Therefore, the accuracy of records depends to a large extent on the agency responsible for the documentation and maintenance of the records. The Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center (HCJDC) is a central repository for all criminal records in the state. But then, the records as compiled by the HCJDC come from different jurisdictions within the state.
How to Find Hawaii Criminal History Records for Free
Hawaii criminal history information can rarely be accessed for absolutely free. Requesters may be able to secure a fee waiver for criminal record checks through the Hawaii State Police Online Background Check System. However, the waiver is not likely to be absolute, and inquirers may still need to cover the cost of copy production. If interested in viewing some criminal record information or criminal court records, the inquirer can visit their local court clerk's office and use their self-service computers at no cost.
Are Police Records Public in Hawaii?
In Hawaii, police records are public unless the record is sealed or restricted by court order. This includes records related to arrests, citations, and convictions. Information on open and pending cases is also available to the public, though specific details may be withheld if they are deemed confidential under state law.
How to Obtain Police Records in Hawaii
To obtain police records from the State of Hawaii, individuals must submit an Open Records Request form to the Office of Information Practices. The OIP oversees the state's public records law, which requires all government agencies to make their records available for public review. Requests may also be directed to local police departments or law enforcement agencies in that judicial district. Inquirers will be required to provide information to facilitate the record search and pay a nominal fee to cover the cost of research and duplication of the records.
Are Police Reports Public Record in Hawaii?
In Hawaii, police reports are considered public records per state law. Requests for police reports may be made to local law enforcement offices or to the state’s information department tasked with disseminating public records. Each request must include details of the incident, including its date, location and the names of persons or officers associated with the event. A fee may also apply depending on the reports requested and the associated costs in retrieving them.
Where to Find Free Hawaii Public Police Records
Interested members of the public may access free public police records if they can obtain a fee waiver for the costs associated with an open records request. However, only persons who satisfy the state’s eligibility requirements as set forth in section 2-71-32 will be deemed suitable for the fee waiver.