Hawaii Misdemeanor Crimes by Class and Sentences

In Hawaii, misdemeanors are those crimes that are punishable by up to one year in county or local jail. Hawaii law recognizes misdemeanors and petty misdemeanors.

More serious crimes (felonies) are punishable by state prison terms of one year or more.

For more information on felonies in Hawaii, see Hawaii Felony Crimes by Class and Sentences.


A misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. (Haw. Rev. Stat. § § 706-640, 706-663.) For example, being a “peeping Tom” is a misdemeanor in Hawaii.

For more information on Hawaii’s penalties for sex crimes, see Hawaii Sexual Battery Laws.

Petty Misdemeanor

A petty misdemeanor is the least serious type of criminal offense in Hawaii, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. (Haw. Rev. Stat. § § 706-640, 706-663.) For example, an assault (injury to another) that occurs during a fight or scuffle that the victim willingly entered into is punishable as a petty misdemeanor.

For more information on assault penalties, see Misdemeanor Assault in Hawaii.

Statutes of Limitations

A statute of limitations is a time limit, after which a prosecutor can no longer bring criminal charges. The statute of limitations begins to "run" when the crime is committed. For misdemeanors, the statute of limitations is usually fairly short (a few years).

For more information, see Hawaii Criminal Statute of Limitations.

Obtaining Legal Assistance

The consequences of a criminal conviction, even for a misdemeanor, can be very unpleasant and can include jail time and a fine. If you are charged with a crime, you should contact a Hawaii criminal defense attorney who can walk you through the legal process and help you protect your rights.


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