Showing posts from May, 2019

Setting the Record Straight on DWOL Defenses

State v. Castillon (HSC May 16, 2019) Background. Michelle Castillon was cited and charged for driving without a license. HRS § 286-102. At trial, the prosecution called the citing officer who testified that he stopped Castillon because her vehicle had expired safety and registration tags. The officer asked Castillon if she had a driver’s license. She could not. The officer testified at trial that he called into dispatch to see if she had a license. Dispatch reported back that her license had been revoked. The prosecution also called a County official who testified that her database did not include licenses in Canada. There was no testimony about Mexico. Castillon presented no evidence that she possessed a valid license issued from Canada or Mexico. She argued that the prosecution had the burden of proving that not only did she lack a license in Hawaii, but she did not have a license in Canada or Mexico. The district court (Hon. Judge Margaret Masunaga) rejected this argument

That Awkward, Statutorily-Imposed Conversation with the Police

State v. Hosaka (ICA May 17, 2019) Background. Troy Hosaka was arrested under suspicion for operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant. He was taken to the police station, where the arresting officer handed him a form. The form had three relevant paragraphs. First, it read that anyone driving a vehicle on a public road is deemed to have given consent to a chemical test to determine that person’s blood-alcohol content. Second, it stated that Hosaka was not entitled to an attorney. Finally, it stated this: You may refuse to submit to a breath or blood test, or both for the purpose of determining alcohol concentration and/or blood or urine test, or both for the purpose of determining drug content. If you do refuse, then none shall be given, except as provided in section 291E-21. However, if you refuse to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test, you may be subject to up to the sanctions of 291E-65 if you are under 21 years of age at the time of the offense. In additi

HSC puts Warrant Checks in Check

State v. Iona (HSC May 22, 2019) Background. Kekoa Iona and two others were riding bicycles when a police officer stopped them on Keeaumoku Street in Honolulu. All three bikes did not have any tax decals, which is required by state and local law. HRS §§ 249-14, 249-15 and Revised Ordinances of Honolulu § 15-18.1. The officer inquired where they got the bikes. Iona said he owned it, but later said he borrowed it from a man named “Nalu” at the park. The officer took more information like their names and then commenced a warrant check on them. This took about three to four minutes. More officers arrived. Then a few more. The initial officer waited until he had all of the information—including the warrant check—before issuing a citation for lack of tax decals. Another officer called dispatch to run Iona’s serial number on the bike to see if it was registered to him or stolen. Dispatch confirmed the bike was not registered to Iona or “Nalu,” but a Waianae resident instead. It was no