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Showing posts from February, 2013

Two Different Bites at the Same Apple

State v. Spearman (February 21, 2013) Background. Sarah Spearman was charged with operating a vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant. The complaint advanced two theories: driving with an amount sufficient to impair her normal mental faculties or ability to care for her person and guard against casualty and with .08 or more grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath. HRS § 291E-61(a)(1)&(3). The complaint did not state the state of mind for the first theory. At the arraignment, Spearman moved to dismiss the complaint on the grounds that no mens rea was included. The motion was denied and the case went to trial. At trial, the witnesses for the prosecution testified that Spearman blew into the Intoxilyzer 8000 and the results came to "0.251 . . . percent of alcohol liters per 2/10ths breath." After the prosecution rested, Spearman moved for a judgment of acquittal and moved to strike all testimony relating to the breath test and its results. The district court inte…

Six Words Justify Consecutive Terms

State v. Kong (January 31, 2013) Background. Stanley Kong was charged with various drug offenses in two separate prosecutions. He petitioned into the Maui Drug Court Program. At the hearing on the petition, the circuit court explained that if violated the terms and conditions of the Maui Drug Court Program, he could be terminated from the program. The circuit court then found that Kong waived his rights "as indicated in the petition for admission" to the program and he was admitted. Kong participated in the program for several months, but at a status hearing, Kong admitted that he had relapsed and "used drugs." The circuit court informed Kong that he was going to give him another chance and keep him in the program. At the next scheduled hearing, Kong did not show up. The circuit court issued a bench warrant. He was picked up and appeared before the circuit court in custody. At that initial hearing, Kong told the court that he wanted to "self-terminate" hims…