In Hawaii, all crimes punishable by one year or more in state prison are felonies. Less serious crimes (misdemeanors) are punishable by up to one year in county or local jail.
For more information on misdemeanors in Hawaii, see Hawaii Misdemeanor Crimes by Class and Sentences.
In Hawaii, felonies other than murder are classified as class A, B, or C felonies.
Murder is punishable by life imprisonment (with or without the possibility of parole) and a fine of up to $50,000.
(Haw. Rev. Stat. § § 706-640, 706-656, 706-657.)
Under Hawaii’s laws, a class A felony is punishable by up to 20 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $50,000.(Haw. Rev. Stat. § § 706-640, 706-659.) For example, sexual assault against a child under the age of 14 is a class A felony.
For more information on Hawaii’s penalties for sex crimes, see Hawaii Sexual Battery Laws.
A class B felony is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. (Haw. Rev. Stat. § § 706-640, 706-660.) For example, any assault that causes serious injury, such as an attack that caused permanent disfigurement, is a class B felony in Hawaii.
For more information on assault penalties, see Felony Assault Laws in Hawaii.
The least serious type of felony in Hawaii is a class C felony. Class C felonies are punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000. (Haw. Rev. Stat. § § 706-640, 706-660.) Theft of property worth more than $300 is an example of a class C felony.
For more information on theft penalties, see Hawaii Petty Theft and Other Theft Laws.
For every crime there is a time period, called the “statute of limitations,” during which criminal prosecution must begin. The statute of limitations begins to “run” when the crime is committed, and charges cannot be brought after the period has ended. Usually, the most serious crimes have the longest statutes of limitations.
For more information, see Hawaii Criminal Statute of Limitations.
Felony convictions can have very serious consequences. In addition to time in prison and a fine, felony convictions can limit the kinds of jobs a person can hold and make it difficult to obtain certain professional or occupational licenses. If you are charged with a felony, you should contact a Hawaii criminal defense attorney. An attorney will be familiar with how your case is likely to be treated in court and can help you obtain the best possible outcome.