Hawaii has a population of 1.42, making it the 41st most populated and the 13th most densely populated state in the country. Honolulu is the state’s capital and largest city with a population of 351,792.
There are just five counties in Hawaii, but they have more governing power than in most other states, as they are the only legally constituted government bodies under the state level. The largest county in Hawaii by population is Honolulu County, and the smallest by population is Kalawao County.
Statewide, crime in Hawaii is significantly lower compared to the United States overall: the state logged a 2.49 per 1,000 violent crime rate which is around 67% of the national rate. State capital Honolulu is the only Hawaiian city where the FBI tracks crime, and its violent crime rate is near the statewide rate. In line with Hawaii’s low crime rate is its arrests per capita, which is the 2nd lowest in the United States.
Hawaii Arrest and Crime Statistics
- In 2018, there were 24,487 arrests in Hawaii, as reported by two law enforcement agencies. Additionally, there were 1,762 arrests of minors under the age of 18.
- 828 arrests were made for violent crimes, including 204 for robbery, 75 for rape, and 40 for murder and nonnegligent manslaughter.
- The leading identified cause of arrest in Hawaii was driving under the influence, which accounted for 4,288 arrests, followed by “Other assaults” with 2,968 arrests, and drug abuse violations with 1,873 arrests.
- Drug abuse violations were the leading identified cause of arrests for minors under the age of 18, accounting for 337 arrests.
- Hawaii is home to around 600 registered sex offenders with a permanent address, and it is one of 20 states that do not restrict where sex offenders can live.
What is a public arrest record?
An arrest record is a report produced by a law enforcement entity after the arrest or apprehension of an individual which contains the details of the incident, the individual’s personal information, and occasionally includes additional information about the individual’s criminal record.
An arrest record is often a key document in a criminal case and may play a significant role in an ensuing trial. The arrest record may remain in the public record for a long time regardless of whether the suspect is ultimately convicted of the crime(s) for which they were initially arrested. This means that it can be accessed by the general public.
What is included in a public arrest record?
- Description of the incident: An arrest record will include a chronological account of the alleged crime produced by the arresting officer that may utilize information provided by first-hand witnesses and/or victims of the alleged crime.
- Date and location of the arrest
- Physical description: The height, weight, hair color, sex, and race of the arrested person, along with other distinguishing characteristics such as tattoos, scars, or birthmarks.
- Personal information: The name, age, date of birth, phone number, address, social security number, and other contact information of the arrested individual, as well as any other names the person may go by.
- Criminal charges filed
- Classification of the crime: Whether the alleged crime is a felony or a misdemeanor.
- Court date
- Police interrogation details
What are the types of charges that may appear on an arrest record?
Generally, charges are classified into three main categories:
- Infraction – An infraction is a minor violation of the law that is regulated at the state level. Punishment for an infraction is typically a fine or a written warning, rather than a jail or prison sentence. Examples of infractions include minor traffic violations, public nuisance offenses, and littering.
- Misdemeanor – A misdemeanor is a crime that is more serious than an infraction, but less severe than a felony, and generally punishable by a term of imprisonment of less than a year, or a term of probation. An individual convicted of a misdemeanor is more likely to serve time in a county or local jail than a federal or state prison. Examples of misdemeanors include driving under the influence, most drug abuse violations, and petty theft.
- Felony – A felony is the most serious type of crime and generally results in a term of imprisonment of more than one year in a state or federal prison. Having a felony on one’s record may result in limitations of employment and the acquisition of specialty licenses. Examples of felonies include rape, murder, and arson.
Who can access arrest records?
As in most other states, arrest records (also known as arrest reports) are public records in Hawaii and can be accessed by anyone upon request to a law enforcement agency, and may come up during a routine background check.
Other examples of Hawaii public records include:
- vital records such as birth and death certificates
- marriage licenses
- court records
- voting records
- property records
Where are physical copies of arrest records kept in Hawaii?
Arrest records are typically held by the law enforcement agency responsible for the arrest, usually a local police department or county sheriff’s office. They also may be kept in the archive of a state government agency, or circuit court. However, there is no official repository for arrest records.
Why can’t I access an arrest record in Hawaii?
There are a number of reasons why you may not be able to access an arrest record. Although the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requires federal agencies to release arrest records and other public records, records that fall under certain exemptions can be withheld from the public.
The FOIA includes nine exemptions that allow agencies to withhold documents, such as arrest records, and not release them to the public. They are:
- The information is classified to protect natural security.
- The information focuses on the internal rules and practices of the agency.
- Another federal law prohibits the release of the information.
- The information includes confidential trade secrets and/or commercial and financial information.
- The information includes privileged, confidential communicative exchanges between two agencies.
- The information could pose a danger to another person’s privacy if released.
- The information is reserved for law enforcement purposes in a court case or an investigation or could reveal a confidential source.
- The information includes confidential information about financial institution supervision.
- The information includes geographical information about wells.
Additionally, some state laws limit the availability of arrest records due to the fact that they are perceived as one-sided documents that do not include the arrested person’s account of the incident.
What is the difference between an arrest record and a criminal record?
Compared to an arrest record, a criminal record is a more thorough document that details an individual’s entire criminal history, including arrest warrants, arrests, third party complaints, convictions, and even dropped cases.
What is the difference between an arrest record and an arrest warrant?
An arrest warrant is a document issued by a judge or magistrate that grants law enforcement the authority to arrest an individual suspected of a crime or to search and seize the individual’s property, whereas an arrest record is a document of an arrest that is only created after an arrest or apprehension has already occurred.
In order for a judge or magistrate to issue an arrest warrant, they must conclude that there is probable cause for an arrest. Probable cause must be backed by sworn testimony or an affidavit that provides sufficient information supporting the need for an arrest. An arrest warrant must also specify one individual that should be arrested, rather than a group of individuals or a rough description of a suspect.
How many Americans have been arrested?
While crime has steadily dropped in the United States over the past several decades, arrests have gone up, particularly for younger age groups. Typically, law enforcement makes around 10 million arrests each year. Here are some key statistics on arrests in the United States:
- In 2018, around 10.3 million arrests were made nationwide.
- 73% of arrested persons in 2018 were males.
- The more recent an American was born, the greater the likelihood that the individual has been arrested at least once. The following is the percentage of Americans in various age groups that have been arrested:
- 6.4% of Americans born before 1949
- 10.7% of Americans born between 1949 and 1958
- 13.8% of Americans born between 1959 and 1968
- 18.7% of Americans born between 1969 and 1978
- 23% of Americans born between 1979-1988
How to search for Arrest Records in Hawaii
The Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center hosts an online search tool called eCRIM that allows individuals to search the state repository for the criminal history information or arrest records of anyone on-file. Click here to visit the site.
Each search costs $5 and the cost of a single report is $10 which is emailed to the requester upon payment.
How can I request a Hawaii arrest record by mail?
For those that prefer to submit a mail-in request for a criminal history record check, collect the following items:
- A sheet of paper with the name, date of birth, and social security number (option) of the person whose criminal history record you wish to access
- A $30 money order or cashier’s check payable to “State of Hawaii”
After the items are prepared, mail them to:
Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center
Attn: CHRC Unit
465 S. King Street, Room 102
Honolulu, HI 96813
Expect results to be mailed within 7-10 business days.
How can I search for a Hawaii arrest record on the internet using a background check service?
Since tracking down physical copies of arrest records can prove challenging, searching for them online is a viable option. There is a wealth of online services that allow you to search and access Hawaii arrest records and other public records via numerous government agency databases in exchange for a fee.
However, despite the fact that users must pay to obtain an arrest record from an online service, it’s nevertheless a convenient means of getting these documents. The offices of government agencies are often marred by inconsistent service and take a long time to process requests to view documents.
Sometimes it’s worth it to pay a fee to use an online background check service, rather than endure the extended delays typical of government offices.
What can I do if my arrest record has a mistake?
Individuals may challenge an incorrect or incomplete Hawaii arrest record through the Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center. Required are a certified criminal history record and an official fingerprint card obtained at a local police department or sheriff’s office.
Contact the HCJDC at [email protected] for more information.
Hawaii Courthouse and Sheriff Information by County
|District Court-Civil Division
|1111 Alakea St
Honolulu, HI 96813
|State of Hawaii Department of Public Safety - Sheriff Division
|240 Keawe St
Honolulu, HI 96813
|Sheriff Division-Kauai Section
|3970 Kaana St # 103
Lihue, HI 96766
|Maui County Police Department Molokai
|110 Ainoa St
Kaunakakai, HI 96748
If you’re worried that someone you know or love has a criminal record and maybe hiding it from you, run a quick background check online with ArrestRecords.com. Thanks to public records laws, almost all Hawaii arrests, criminal and civil records are available online, as well as comprehensive background checks and secret data. You can even find Hawaii marriage records, secret divorce records as well as birth and death records.
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