Hawaii State Laws

Hawaii became a state nearly two hundred years after Delaware became the first state of the nation. The state of Hawaii is the state furthest west and is the only state to have two state languages: English and Hawaiian. The Hawaiian Creole is a dialectical language that many state residents speak in addition to English.

Hawaii is also one of the most diverse populations with much Asian influence. Being the only state that cannot be reached by land, Hawaii has a large military base in its state government. This government decides the laws where the nation’s federal government has not set specifics. Some of these laws include divorce laws, bankruptcy laws, labor laws, expungement laws, felony convictions, gun laws, and others.

Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy in Hawaii has been designed through the national government to assist those who have find themselves in debt through extraneous circumstances. Some of these include loss of employment, loss of a major client, and hospitalization. New bankruptcy laws were recently included to eliminate the abuse of the bankruptcy system.

Paperwork has now tripled and a more extensive screen process is now performed. Upon filing an individual’s income, debts, and other personal expenses will be measured against the mean of all Hawaii residents. Depending on where the individual falls, he or she will be eligible for one of two kinds of bankruptcy. Chapter Seven bankruptcy will allow an individual to liquidate his or her personal property to eliminate debts. Chapter Thirteen bankruptcy will allow an individual to obtain a personal payment plan for paying debts each month.

Divorce

Every state has its own requirements for how divorce is to be handled. Hawaii requires that those filing for divorce be state residents for at least six months prior to filing. Only one individual in the marriage is required to be a state resident. Individuals who are stationed in Hawaii for the United States military are also considered state residents.

The county circuit courts of each state handle all divorce cases. Under this designation individuals are to file in their counties of residency or the counties of their spouses. If a divorce petition is filed in the incorrect county, the petition will be dismissed.

Drunk Driving

Those who are charged with driving under the influence will have punishments based on prior offenses. After five driving under the influence offenses in the state of Hawaii, an individual will be charged with a felony offense. Punishments can include alcohol abuse education courses, fines, imprisonment, community service, and ignition interlock devices. Aggravating circumstances can also increase an individual’s punishment, even if it is a first offense.

Expungement

Expungement does not mean that a criminal record will be erased, rather the record will be sealed from public view. Not all offenses can be expunged and usually do not include driving under the influence convictions, felony convictions, and misdemeanor convictions.

When an expungement is granted an individual may have his or her fingerprints removed from government databases as well as arrest records and photographs. Expunged records may later be accessed when an individual runs for public office or when he or she choose to enter the military.


Hawaii Law Articles

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