Hawaii Expungement Laws
Just because you live in paradise doesn't mean you won't get into trouble with the law. It might be a case of mistaken identity, of being in the wrong place at the wrong time or actually breaking the law. In any one of those situations you will have an arrest record generated. This is a record that will follow you throughout the rest of your life. It will show up on any background check run by an employer and is a matter of public record unless you are granted an expungement. With an expungement these records will essentially disappear from public view. Unless someone has a court order, these arrest records will be permanently gone. This will include fingerprints, court transcripts and any photos taken at the time of arrest. Your ability to be granted an expungement in Hawaii is based on the specifics of your case.
The easiest expungement to achieve is if your case has been dismissed or you were found not guilty of the crime. If you were convicted of a non-violent first time drug offense you might be able to have your record expunged if you complete whatever probationary requirements implemented by the court. The Hawaii courts won't be so lenient when it comes to repeat offenders, even if they are mere misdemeanor drug possession.
There are special exceptions made for juveniles who are seeking expungement their criminal records in Hawaii. Even if they are found guilty of a charge, their parents or guardians can petition the courts for an expungement of their records which will go into effect when the juvenile turns 21.
Once an expungement is granted, the court will file the request with the prosecuting attorneys and order them to seal those records. There is a chance that a district attorney might protest the expungement, but this will depend on the circumstances. Typically, repeat offenders, even if they are found not guilty, could run into difficulty when it comes to getting an expungement of their records.
As with most matters before the court, anyone can file the papers to request for an expungement. However, it is advised that you contact a legal professional who is experienced in these matters. They will be in the best position to advise you on your options and whether or not an expungement is viable in your particular case. Getting an expungement is a positive step towards rebuilding your life.
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