Hawaii within recent years has totally overhauled its driving infraction system. It was a cumulative point system, where any infraction could lead to licensure suspension if you cumulated enough points. With the legal system over worked and backlogged they switched to an abstract and non-criminal offenses system that will be explained below. As a no-fault state, Hawaii does not assign fault in accidents concerning bodily injury. However, in civil cases concerning property damage fault is still ascribed and damages awarded accordingly. With this hybrid system and the changeover of their driving offenses system an attorney may be a wise choice.
Hawaii legislature recently changed the entire driving infraction and ticketing procedure for the state. Prior to this change, Hawaii was like many states, assigning points in a cumulative fashion. If you received too many points, you received various penalties. These ranged from fines to license suspension. However, the traffic court system was backlogged and the state moved to an abstract system that decriminalized most driving offenses.
Standard violations like speeding, parking, improper lane changes or following too closely now result in a fine and listed on your driving abstract. Different social agencies have access to these abstracts, such as auto insurance companies. These civil fines can still have an impact on your insurance rates in Hawaii as a result.
More serious violations remain criminal, such as Driving Under the Influence (DUI, alcohol or drugs) or reckless driving still require offenders to satisfy court requirements of trial. Even though most civil traffic offenses do not automatically lead to a license suspension the Hawaii Department of Transportation still tracks all violations. Your violations, civil or criminal, can still lead to a license suspension. In this case you should hire an attorney to represent you.
Since Hawaii still assigns fault in civil cases for property damage and for cases of underinsured or cases where the defendant has caused injury or damage beyond their insurance coverage, hiring a personal injury attorney or traffic violation attorney may be necessary.
Any car accident in Hawaii could lead to you being civilly litigated because of the property damage done to the other vehicle or other physical property. You may want to hire a traffic violation attorney for civil traffic offenses if you have suffered a license suspension, face cumulative traffic violation fines or are at risk of losing your commercial driver’s license.
Within the Hawaii traffic violation system there is no Driver’s Ed, community service or online education courses to reduce your potential fines or loss of license. If you face serious consequences hire a professional to defend you.
If you are facing a driving case that involves a criminal charge such as DUI, negligence causing injury or death or distracted driving you should have a professional attorney to represent you. Every case is different and the outcome even with a professional attorney will depend on the circumstances. However with a professional attorney, you will know your rights, be provided counsel on plea agreements, and an ability to possibly lessen the sentence, fines or consequences.
DUI offenses are criminal in Hawaii, even on the first offense resulting in license suspension of 1 year, 18 months for a second offense, 2 years for a third offense and 5-10 years for a fourth offense within a 10 year period. These offenses also come with a mandatory ignition interlock device, a monetary fine, community service, revocation of your vehicle registration and even a mandated alcohol assessment. With such serious consequences, you will need a specialist to look at your case and advise you on the best way forward.
Hiring the right attorney for the right offense is important. Just as there are medical experts in different fields, the same is true of vehicle attorneys as well. Hire one that has express experience with your offense.