2009 Hawaii Code
Volume 13
§604-8 - Criminal, misdemeanors, generally.

     §604-8  Criminal, misdemeanors, generally.  (a)  District courts shall have jurisdiction of, and their criminal jurisdiction is limited to, criminal offenses punishable by fine, or by imprisonment not exceeding one year whether with or without fine.  They shall not have jurisdiction over any offense for which the accused cannot be held to answer unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury.

     In any case cognizable by a district court under this section in which the accused has the right to a trial by jury in the first instance, the district court, upon demand by the accused for a trial by jury, shall not exercise jurisdiction over the case, but shall examine and discharge or commit for trial the accused as provided by law; provided that, if in any such case the accused does not demand a trial by jury on the date of arraignment or within ten days thereafter, the district court may exercise jurisdiction over the case, subject to the right of appeal as provided by law.

     (b)  The district court shall have concurrent jurisdiction with the family court of any violation of an order issued pursuant to chapter 586 or any violation of section 709-906 when multiple offenses are charged and at least one other offense is a criminal offense within the jurisdiction of the district courts. [L 1896, c 40, §1; am L 1901, c 2, §1; RL 1925, §2276; RL 1935, §3765; RL 1945, §9676; RL 1955, §216-7; am L 1957, c 37, §1; HRS §604-8; am L 1970, c 188, §16; am L 1971, c 144, §6A; am L 1992, c 253, §4; am L 1998, c 64, §3; am L 1999, c 20, §1; am L 2001, c 157, §34]


Cross References


  Tax offenses, see §231-12.


Rules of Court


  See HRPP rules 5, 54(b).


Case Notes


  Jury trial may be waived.  17 H. 428.  None in first instance for trivial offense.  27 H. 844, 847.  Embezzlement.  23 H. 91. No jurisdiction in absence of charge.  34 H. 75.

  Misdemeanors on naval reservation.  19 H. 198.  To commit, must have evidence of commission of an offense and probability of guilt.  22 H. 614.

  Prosecution's witnesses should be heard.  30 H. 560.

  Costs in excess of one year imprisonment is surplusage.  23 H. 766.

  Former jurisdiction under Volstead Act.  27 H. 237.

  "Right" to jury trial refers to constitutional guarantee involving "serious" offenses, in absence of specific statutory right to jury trial.  51 H. 612, 466 P.2d 422.

  Where demand for jury trial conferred jurisdiction on circuit court, subsequent withdrawal of demand does not divest such jurisdiction.  55 H. 394, 520 P.2d 427.

  Defendant's waiver of right to jury trial must be knowing and voluntary.  61 H. 173, 599 P.2d 282.

  Nothing in this section obviates court's constitutional duty to inform a defendant of defendant's right to jury trial; court should not presume a "knowing and voluntary waiver" from a defendant's silence.  75 H. 118, 857 P.2d 576.

  Both the circuit and district courts have concurrent jurisdiction over DUI cases.  78 H. 367, 893 P.2d 795.

  As no provision in HHCA or its legislative history indicates intent to exempt Hawaiian home lands from application of state criminal laws, district court properly exercised jurisdiction over defendants charged with criminal trespass.  80 H. 168, 907 P.2d 754.

  Cited:  1 U.S.D.C. Haw. 34, 35; 17 H. 174, 183; 9 H. App. 232, 832 P.2d 737.


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