§707-710  Assault in the first degree.  (1)  A person commits the offense of assault in the first degree if the person intentionally or knowingly causes:

     (a)  Serious bodily injury to another person; or

     (b)  Substantial bodily injury to a person who is sixty years of age or older and the age of the injured person is known or reasonably should be known to the person causing the injury.

     (2)  Assault in the first degree is a class B felony. [L 1972, c 9, pt of §1; ree L 1986, c 314, §51; gen ch 1993; am L 2021, c 147, §1]


Case Notes


  Attempted assault.  56 H. 664, 548 P.2d 271 (1976).

  Expert medical testimony that "permanent, serious disfigurement" would have resulted absent medical attention irrelevant and improperly admitted where that result was an element of the offense charged under this section.  80 H. 126, 906 P.2d 612 (1995).

  Insufficient evidence to convict defendant under this section where evidence in record describing victim's scar only established that it was located on forehead, was two inches in length, and was visible from a "normal social" distance.  80 H. 126, 906 P.2d 612 (1995).

  Under §701-109(1)(c), petitioner could not be convicted of both robbery in the second degree and assault in the first degree; the jury inconsistently found that petitioner intentionally or knowingly and recklessly inflicted serious bodily injury on complainant.  131 H. 353, 319 P.3d 272 (2013).

  Where petitioner, convicted of robbery in the second degree (§708-841) and assault in the first degree, could not be convicted of both offenses, the assault conviction was reversed; among other things, there was sufficient evidence to convict petitioner as to robbery in the second degree and because the penalties for the robbery and assault convictions are the same, it could not be said that petitioner would be prejudiced by dismissal of the assault charge.  131 H. 353, 319 P.3d 272 (2013).

  There was substantial evidence that minor caused serious bodily injury to complainant as defined in §707-700 where minor inflicted bodily injury which caused protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ--namely, the eye injury that caused the blurred and diplopic vision that was still bothering complainant at the time of trial.  106 H. 530 (App.), 107 P.3d 1203 (2005).

  Where defendant punched and kicked another so ferociously in the face that the lip was split clean through, four teeth were bashed in, the eye was hemorrhaged and pushed inward, and the orbital floor was fractured causing blurred and diplopic vision lasting almost eleven months, there was substantial evidence that the defendant was, at the very least, aware that it was practically certain that defendant's conduct would cause the result required, "serious bodily injury", for conviction of first degree assault.  106 H. 530 (App.), 107 P.3d 1203 (2005).

  There was substantial and convincing evidence that complainant suffered "serious bodily injury" where evidence showed that complainant suffered eight fractured ribs which resulted in protracted impairment of the function of complainant's lungs and impaired complainant's ability to breathe for a prolonged and extended period of time; thus, trial court properly denied defendant's motion for judgment of acquittal.  112 H. 278 (App.), 145 P.3d 821 (2006).

  Where defendant argued that the evidence was insufficient to prove defendant was an accomplice to an assault in any degree, and evidence was adduced that defendant pushed a person who was involved in a motor vehicle accident, causing the person to fall to the ground, and defendant held the person on the ground before the driver of a car involved in the accident jumped onto the person, substantial evidence supported the jury's conclusion.  132 H. 97, 319 P.3d 1105 (2014).

  Where the prosecutor orally modified the court's accomplice jury instruction by defining the words "promote" and "facilitate", and the prosecutor did not make a curative statement specifically directed at correcting the improper definitions and the court did not give a curative instruction, the misstatement of the law for which no curative instruction was given was not harmless beyond a reasonable doubt, and defendant's conviction was vacated.  132 H. 97, 319 P.3d 1105 (2014).

  Assault in the first degree is a lesser included offense of murder in the second degree.  The circuit court erred in failing to instruct the jury on the included offense of assault in the first degree.  132 H. 451, 323 P.3d 95 (2014).