What are Gun Crimes in Hawaii?

Hawaii gun laws are strict. You could be charged with a firearm-related offense in many instances. The unlawful use, possession, or sale of a weapon is considered a felony offense in the state of Hawaii.

Any of these crimes involving firearms could result in severe criminal penalties. Some of the more common types of gun crimes you could be charged with in Honolulu include:

  • Unlawful possession of a firearm
  • Unlawful sale of a firearm
  • Illegal discharge of a weapon
  • Minor in possession of a firearm
  • Aggravated assault with a firearm
  • Carrying a concealed weapon without a license
  • Possession of a concealed firearm
  • Concealing a loaded firearm in a vehicle
  • Improper exhibition of a firearm or other weapon

Penalties for Firearm Crime Charges

The criminal consequences you can face for a gun crime conviction can vary widely depending on the type of gun crime you are charged with.

For example, if you are found guilty of possessing a gun as a convicted felon, you could be charged with a felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and fines as high as $25,000. Individuals convicted of felony offenses are prohibited from possessing a firearm or other weapon under Hawaii law.

However, if you were a first-time offender accused of illegally possessing a firearm, you could face misdemeanor charges. If convicted, you could be fined up to $2,000 and spend up to one year in jail.

Criminal penalties are not the only consequences of a gun crime charge in Honolulu. Some of the other consequences you could face include:

  • Immigration or citizenship issues
  • Loss of child visitation or custody rights
  • Loss of firearm rights
  • Temporary loss of voting rights
  • Ineligibility for federal student aid
  • Trouble finding gainful employment
  • Difficulty finding safe or affordable housing
  • Completion of court-ordered anger management courses
  • Trouble maintaining relationships with family and friends
  • Loss of your firearms license

Gun Possession while Committing a Felony

If you are arrested and charged with a felony offense and had a firearm in your possession, the charges against you could be exponentially more severe. You can expect the charges against you to be considered violent. The court may consider you a violent offender and treat you as such.

You may have additional restrictions if you are considered a threat to society. Suppose you are convicted of a felony with the use of a firearm. In that case, you could face additional prison time, fines, or even have your charges increased up to the federal level depending on the circumstances of your case.


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Defenses Against Gun Crimes in Hawaii

You could use multiple potential defenses to challenge the gun crime charges against you, including:

  • A motion to suppress evidence
  • Mistake of fact
  • Constitutional rights violations
  • Lack of probable cause
  • The defendant did not know there was a firearm in their possession
  • Innocence
  • Lack of intent to commit a crime

Plea Agreement

The state’s prosecuting attorney may be willing to enter a plea agreement with you in limited circumstances. You may be required to meet the terms of the plea agreement to get the charges against you reduced or dismissed entirely.

Some of the terms of these programs could include court-ordered anger management, firearms training, mental health counseling or evaluations, community service, drug or alcohol treatment, and more.

Once you have completed the terms of the program, the state will dismiss the charges against you, and your record will be clear. However, if you do not meet the terms set by your program, the plea agreement will no longer be valid, and your original charges will apply.

Defense Process

After being arrested for a firearms-related offense, you may wonder what to expect from the defense process. Here is a basic idea of what you can expect after you have been charged with a gun crime in Honolulu:

  • Your initial hearing – At your initial hearing, the judge will have the opportunity to determine whether you should be granted bail. You can enter your plea at this time.
  • The indictment – If the prosecuting attorney finds enough evidence to charge you, you’ll be formally indicted.
  • Discovery – In the discovery phase, the prosecuting and defense attorneys exchange the evidence they’ve gathered to improve their individual cases.
  • Pre-trial negotiations – After discovery, your attorney may meet with the prosecuting attorney to determine whether a plea agreement or pretrial diversion program is an option. If these options are not viable in your case, you should expect to go to trial.
  • Your Case Goes to Trial – At trial, both parties will present the evidence needed to support their case. The defense can also refute the prosecutors’ claims against you. Once the jury has heard both parties’ evidence, they will review it to determine whether you should be found guilty or acquitted of the gun charges against you.

Your gun crime attorney will be an essential advocate as you face these charges. Your lawyer will ensure that your Second Amendment rights are not violated and that you are protected against false allegations.

I find that Michael was very understanding and knowledgeable. He did not promise anything and handled the case well. ..The case also ended well. Thank you! I’m pleased to know you are practicing in this area again. Good honest people are a gem in this world." — Michelle S.

Gun Ownership Considerations in Honolulu, HI

If you want to be a responsible gun owner in the state of Hawaii, there are specific rules and regulations you need to know, including:

  • There’s a 14-day waiting period to obtain a firearm in the state of Hawaii
  • You must have a license to conceal carry in the state of Hawaii
  • You must have a permit to purchase a gun in the state of Hawaii
  • Open carry in the state of Hawaii is prohibited unless you are hunting with a license or shooting a target

Many parties are prohibited from owning firearms in the state of Hawaii. These parties include:

  • Minors under the age of 21
  • Anyone under 25 years old who was adjudicated in Family Court of committing a felony, the illegal sale of drugs, or two or more violent crimes
  • Individuals who are not U.S. citizens
  • Those subjected to gun violence protection orders
  • Individuals considered fugitives from justice
  • Individuals previously indicted on or convicted of felony charges
  • Individuals dosed with significant mental, emotional, or behavioral disorders
  • Individuals acquitted of a criminal offense based on a mental condition
  • Individuals committed to institutions or individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities
  • Individuals indicted on or convicted of violent crimes or crimes involving the sale of illicit drugs
  • Individuals currently being treated for addiction to alcohol or controlled substances

Turn to a Honolulu Gun Crime Attorney

Gun crimes across Hawaii carry harsh penalties. Having an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side has never been more critical when you have been charged with a gun crime in Honolulu.

Reach out to attorney Michael Fayard for a confidential review of your case today. Learn more about which options could be most suited for your defense when you call our office at 808-445-6708 or fill out our secured contact form.