In Hawaii, a criminal record begins once a person violates the laws in the state. All procedures from the point of arrest are documented on the criminal records. The laws of Hawaii are often recorded in the Hawaii Penal Code and other laws are in the state’s constitutional law. Whether a person is convicted or not, a criminal record is kept.
Hawaii’s state law allows the public to access records upon request, however, there are exemptions.
- If a person was convicted of a crime, the record is available to the public.
- If a person is arrested but found innocent or arrested but not charged, for example, this information is not available to the public.
To know where to find Hawaii criminal records, this guide provides helpful resources.
What is a criminal record?
A criminal record is an official document detailing a person’s criminal convictions, pending criminal cases, prior arrests, and other interactions with law enforcement agencies. Additional names for a criminal record include criminal history record, rap sheet, and a police record.
As with marriage records and court records, criminal records are generally public records in the United States and can be accessed through a criminal background check. However, public access to specific criminal record information varies from state to state. In the State of Hawaii, criminal records, which are also referred to as police abstracts or police clearances, are maintained by the Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Centre.
What is included in a Hawaii criminal record?
As criminal records are kept by law enforcement agencies at all levels of government in the United States, a Hawaii criminal record may vary in format and content depending on the law enforcement database from which it is accessed.
Generally, a Hawaii criminal record will include the following information:
- A person’s full name and possible aliases
- Personal information such as age, date of birth, sex, ethnicity, height, weight, and other physical characteristics
- Fingerprints and mugshot
- Misdemeanor criminal offenses and convictions
- Felony criminal offenses and convictions
- Traffic records
- Past and outstanding arrest warrants
- Prior arrests
- Pending and dismissed charges
Why would someone access a criminal record?
There are many reasons to access a criminal record in Hawaii. Most commonly, people search criminal records as a way to run a background check on a particular person. They are also used by law enforcement to identify or locate people involved in crimes or by the court system to determine an appropriate sentence after a conviction.
An individual may want to access his or her own record as well. It’s fairly routine for people to request their own records to see what information is public. In some instances, a record could be inaccurate or include outdated information. If that is the case, it is important to have the record corrected.
What’s the difference between an infraction, misdemeanor, and felony?
When you access a criminal record, the person listed on the record may have an offense listed. Criminal offenses are usually broken into three categories: Infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies.
An infraction is a minor violation, a misdemeanor is more serious, and a felony is the most serious type of crime.
To better understand the information listed on a criminal record, here’s a quick overview of each offense and its severity:
- Infraction: A small traffic violation or littering are considered infractions. An infraction is a minor violation of the law. Usually, punishments are a warning or a fine. Typically, no jail time is associated with an infraction.
- Misdemeanor: If someone were to get a DUI or a drug violation, it is considered a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor is more serious than an infraction but less severe than a felony. Jail time of less than a year or probation are usually associated with these types of crimes. Likely, the offender will do time in a local or county jail.
- Felony: Murder, rape, and arson are considered felony charges. A felony is the most serious type of crime. Offenders are typically sentenced to jail for more than a year and are likely held in a state or federal facility.
What is the difference between a Hawaii arrest record and a Hawaii criminal record?
An arrest record is an official document including the details of a specific arrest. A criminal record is a more comprehensive document that includes a person’s entire criminal background known to law enforcement agencies.
Both types of documents are usually public records in the United States, although information about specific arrests may be sealed and rendered inaccessible to the public for a variety of reasons.
Whether an arrest record or a criminal record is accessed, the information listed is for state crimes only. If a person is involved in a federal crime, this information is not listed on a state record.
How do I search for a Hawaii criminal record?
Hawaii criminal records can be obtained online on the Hawaii Adult Criminal Information (eCrim) site. The site is maintained by the Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Centre, which is a central repository for all criminal records in the state.
In order to access the site, you must create an account. Once logged into the account, the cost for a single search is $5. To get an official eCrim report, the cost is $10 per report.
To obtain the records, you need to enter a person’s name, social security number, date of birth, and gender. Criminal records of sex offenders and other covered offenders are not available on the eCrim site.
How do I obtain a physical copy of a Hawaii criminal record?
Physical copies of Hawaii criminal records can be obtained either via mail or by calling the Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Centre.
For mail, requests for a criminal’s history records can be made through:
Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center
Attn: CHRC Unit
465 S. King Street, Room 102
Honolulu, HI 96813
A payment of $30 for processing the records should be made via money order or cashier’s check and should be attached together with the personal information of the person whose records are being searched, in the mail to be sent.
For the calling option, a person can call HCJDC on 808-587-3279 to book an appointment. To avoid inconveniences and also due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is better to book an appointment.
How do I search for Hawaii criminal case court records?
Certified Hawaii court case records can be accessed in two main ways.
- The first place to access the court records is at the respective courthouses where the cases were heard. At the court, physical copies can be obtained by speaking with the court clerk. You may need to file a request form and pay a fee to access the records. Each courthouse is different.
- The second way to obtain court records is online. Civil cases court records filled in the family courts can be obtained online at the Hoohiki courts website while land court, district court civil, and tax appeal court cases can be obtained at the eCourt Kokua on the judiciary system website. You’ll need a case number or the name of the person involved in the case to search for records. If you can’t find a court case that you’re looking for, it’s best to speak with a court clerk at the courthouse where the case was heard.
Does Hawaii allow criminal records to be sealed or expunged?
The Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Centre is in charge of all expungements. The entire expunging process is handled by the Department of the Attorney General.
Criminal records can be expunged only if the felony or misdemeanor did not result in a conviction or if it was a first-time conviction. All juvenile offenses are also subject to mandatory expungement.
To request an expungement, a form must be filed to the Justice Data Centre. Once expungement takes place, all records are made confidential and therefore, the public cannot access them. Thanks to the new Hawaii revised statutes, sealing can also take place to make the criminal records confidential after a court order.
How can I have false information on a Hawaii criminal record corrected?
In order to correct false information on a Hawaii criminal record, there must be fingerprint verification done first. The fingerprint verification is done at a fee at the Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Centre. The sooner corrections are done, the better as these are public records and they can potentially ruin a person’s reputation.
Due to Covid-19, the center allows for two individuals at a time to access the place to ensure proper social distancing. Given this situation, it’s advisable to call the Criminal History Records at 808-587-3279 to book an appointment.
How long are Hawaii criminal records kept on file?
In Hawaii, adult criminal records are kept on file. Juvenile offenses (those offenses that took place when an individual was under the age of 18) are not kept on a person’s criminal record.
All felony charges and sexual offenses will remain on a person’s criminal records for life as only misdemeanors can be fully expunged from the records.