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Honolulu Criminal Defense Law Blog

Drug possession penalties: Things you need to know

Everyone makes mistakes in their life, with some carrying bigger consequences than others.

A charge of drug possession is every bit as serious as it sounds. A conviction could change your life forever, as the penalties can be stiff. With this in mind, you need to understand what you're up against as your case moves through the legal system.

Marijuana is still illegal in Hawaii despite widespread use

Living in Hawaii, you probably are aware that medical marijuana was legalized in 2000. Despite that, recreational use was never actually decriminalized, which can lead to issues with the law. Additionally, you're only allowed to grow up to seven plants if you have a medical condition that qualifies you for marijuana's use. It was only in 2015 that a new law passed to allow medical marijuana dispensaries.

Today, you might notice lots of people smoking marijuana in public, but despite that, it's still illegal. It's not unusual to see marijuana plants, and it's not hard to obtain the drug in the state.

Attacking protected species can result in a jail sentence

Imagine going to the beautiful Hawaiian Islands to see your favorite species of bird. A few friends want to hunt or chase after them. You go along with it, but several die in the act. Not long after, you find yourself facing serious penalties and are arrested.

This is what happened in a recent case involving a young man and his friends who attacked seabirds at a local nature reserve in Oahu. The teen, then 18, and two younger friends had been camping in 2015 when they attacked and killed at least 15 Laysan Albatrosses that were nesting near the Kaena Point Natural Area Reserve.

Hawaii: Drug crimes abound on the islands

Hawaii is a state with over 1.2 million people. It may not be a surprise that drug crimes, and others, take place on the Islands, especially since only 3,429 law enforcement officers are present on all eight islands in total.

One interesting fact about Hawaii is that all the normal mainland drugs can be found there. The most common drugs on the islands include crystal methamphetamine, marijuana, heroin, cocaine HCL, crack cocaine and predatory drugs.

Your arrest may ruin your vacation, but it doesn't have to ruin your life.

Your dream vacation turned into a nightmare the moment you saw those flashing lights. Getting arrested was not part of your plan.

Your mind races and you head fills with possible scenarios. You are ready to shout your defense to the officer. Your panic and fear is normal, but don't forget your rights.

Sexual Assault Charges Return Fugitives to Hawaii

Sex crimes damage the lives of victims - and the lives of those accused by law enforcement. Recently two different cases saw fugitives returned to Hawaii to face allegations of sexual assault going back as far as 2008. 

Crackdown on Corrections Officers Continues

Since 2012, corrections facilities in Hawaii have come under fire as guards continue to be arrested for smuggling illegal substances and other goods to inmates. In January, another officer at Halawa Correctional Facility was arrested on drug charges. 

Neiman Marcus Data Breach Affects Hawaiian Consumers

Data theft is a rapidly growing segment of white collar crime in Hawaii and elsewhere. In January, the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) reported more than 9,000 Hawaiian consumers may be affected by a recent data theft at luxury goods seller Neiman Marcus. 

Kona Man Sentenced for Airline Hoax

At any time, making false claims can be dangerous. For a Kona man, a false claim led to federal prison.

In January 2013, 60-year-old Kona resident Timothy Hershman made a phone call to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) from a payphone. During the call, Mr. Hershman stated a passenger on an airborne Alaskan Airlines flight was a dangerous man. Asking the FBI to help prevent a tragedy, Mr. Hershman identified his roommate as a potentially menacing passenger.

Why Underage Drinking and Driving is a Bigger Problem Than Anyone Realizes

Kids will be kids. But when "kids being kids" get behind the wheel after a night of partying, the old adage goes out the driver's side window. Drivers under 21 are already considered to be inexperienced - adding alcohol to the situation only increases the likelihood of a dangerous situation, injuries, death, and at the very least, an arrest on a criminal record. 

Legal Associations

  • HSBA Hawaii State Bar Association
  • Judiciary State Of Hawaii
  • Rated by Super Lawyers Myles S. Breiner
  • United States District Court, Northern District of California
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