Sunday, December 1, 2013

To Reiterate: You Gotta Include Mens Rea in the DUI Charge

State v. Maharaj (HSC November 18, 2013)
Background. Peter Maharaj was charged with a single count of operating a vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant, better known as driving under the influence. Specifically, the charge was in violation of HRS § 291E-61(a)(1), which requires proof that Maharaj was operating a vehicle while under the influence of “alcohol in an amount sufficient to impair the person’s normal mental faculties or ability to care for the person and guard against casualty[.]” Maharaj was orally charged in the district court. The charge did not include a state of mind. He was ultimately convicted at trial and then appealed to the ICA. The ICA affirmed after it noted that a transcript for the motion to suppress was never included in the record.

Then, the HSC issued its decision in State v. Nesmith, 127 Hawaii 48, 276 P.3d 617 (2012). Maharaj filed a motion for reconsideration on the grounds that the oral charge was defective ala Nesmith. Maharaj argued that the defective charge was a jurisdictional problem that was “not waivable.” The ICA denied the motion and noted that it was simply unclear if this was a jurisdictional issue. Maharaj petitioned for certiorari.

Challenging the Sufficiency of a Charging Instrument. When the defendant challenges the sufficiency of the charge for the first time on appeal, the defendant must “show prejudice or that the indictment cannot within reason be construed to charge a crime.” State v. Motta, 66 Haw. 89, 91, 657 P.2d 1019, 1020 (1983). Here, the oral charge did not allege a state of mind and it cannot be construed to be a crime. State v. Elliot, 77 Hawaii, 309, 313, 884 P.2d 372, 376 (1994). The analysis was largely based on the precedent in State v. Nesmith, supra, and State v. Apollonio. Accordingly, the case must be dismissed without prejudice. Moreover, the failure to include this “essential fact” renders the charge deficient pursuant to Hawaii Rules of Penal Procedure Rule 7(d).

Chief Justice Recktenwald’s Dissent. The CJ dissented for the exact same reasons he dissented in Apollonio. Justice Nakayama joined (presumably for the exact same reasons she joined in Apollonio.).

7 comments:

Markus Dombois said...

Nice one Ben!

Peter Aaron Maharaj said...

You forgot to mention that Maharaj won his case!!!

Supreme Court ruled in his favor -

CASE DISMISSED!!

Peter Aaron Maharaj said...

You forgot to mention that Maharaj won his case!!!

Supreme Court ruled in his favor -

CASE DISMISSED!!

Peter Aaron Maharaj said...

THERE WAS ZERO EVIDENCE OF INTOXICATION - BREATHERLIZER SHOWED ZERO EVIDENCE OF INTOXICATION - MAHARAJ HAS TYPE 2 DIABETES AND OFTEN DIABETICS ARE MISTAKEN AS INTOXICATED BECAUSE OF MEDICATION - NONETHELESS, STATE PROVIDED ZERO EVIDENCE OF ANY INTOXICATION - SUPREME COURT RULED IN MAHARAJ'S CASE AND NOW IS CASE LAW SHOWING MAHARAJ'S VICTORY IN THIS CASE - SUPREME COURT THREW CASE OUT AFTER APPEAL WAS RULED IN MAHARAJ'S FAVOR -
CASE CLOSED -
RIDICULOUS CASE SHOULD HAVE NEVER BEEN BROUGHT IN THE FIRST PLACE - CHARGES WERE FILED WITH ZERO EVIDENCE - OFFICE UNDER OATH STATED THAT HE WROTE RESULTS ON THE BACK OF HIS HAND AND APPARENTLY RUBBED OFF - HE STATED THAT MAHARAJ DIDNT FOLLOW EYE/PEN TEST AND FAILED HIS SOBRIETY TEST - MAHARAJ WEARS GLASSES FOR READING (NOT REQUIRED TO WEAR WHILE OPERATING VEHICLE) - MAHARAJ WAS NOT WEARING GLASSES WHILE EYE/PEN TEST WAS ADMINISTERED -
THERE WERE NO OTHER SIGNS EXHIBITED SHOWING ANY TYPE OF INTOXICATION - MAHARAJ WAS STOPPED IN HIS GULLWING AMG MERCEDES - CASE CLOSED -

Peter Aaron Maharaj said...

Peter Aaron MaharajAugust 13, 2015 at 10:12 PM
THERE WAS ZERO EVIDENCE OF INTOXICATION - BREATHERLIZER SHOWED ZERO EVIDENCE OF INTOXICATION - MAHARAJ HAS TYPE 2 DIABETES AND OFTEN DIABETICS ARE MISTAKEN AS INTOXICATED BECAUSE OF MEDICATION - NONETHELESS, STATE PROVIDED ZERO EVIDENCE OF ANY INTOXICATION - SUPREME COURT RULED IN MAHARAJ'S CASE AND NOW IS CASE LAW SHOWING MAHARAJ'S VICTORY IN THIS CASE - SUPREME COURT THREW CASE OUT AFTER APPEAL WAS RULED IN MAHARAJ'S FAVOR -
CASE CLOSED -
RIDICULOUS CASE SHOULD HAVE NEVER BEEN BROUGHT IN THE FIRST PLACE - CHARGES WERE FILED WITH ZERO EVIDENCE - OFFICER UNDER OATH STATED THAT HE WROTE RESULTS ON THE BACK OF HIS HAND AND APPARENTLY RUBBED OFF - HE STATED THAT MAHARAJ DIDNT FOLLOW EYE/PEN TEST AND FAILED HIS SOBRIETY TEST - MAHARAJ WEARS GLASSES FOR READING (NOT REQUIRED TO WEAR WHILE OPERATING VEHICLE) - MAHARAJ WAS NOT WEARING GLASSES WHILE EYE/PEN TEST WAS ADMINISTERED -
THERE WERE NO OTHER SIGNS EXHIBITED SHOWING ANY TYPE OF INTOXICATION - MAHARAJ WAS STOPPED IN HIS GULLWING AMG MERCEDES - CASE CLOSED -

Delete

Peter Aaron Maharaj said...

http://www.courts.state.hi.us/docs/opin_ord/ica/2012/oct/ica29520sdoada.pdf

READ THIS - LESLIE MAHARAJ, ESQ. DID AN OUTSTANDING JOB AND AS A RESULT IS A VICTORY CASE RULED BY THE SUPREME COURT IN MAHARAJ'S FAVOR -
CASE DISMISSED AND SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN BROUGHT IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!

Peter Aaron Maharaj said...


Peter Aaron MaharajAugust 13, 2015 at 10:24 PM
http://www.courts.state.hi.us/docs/opin_ord/ica/2012/oct/ica29520sdoada.pdf

READ THIS - LESLIE MAHARAJ, ESQ. DID AN OUTSTANDING JOB!!! AND AS A RESULT IS "CASE LAW" - MAHARAJ WON A SUPREME COURT CASE -