HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TWENTY-SEVENTH LEGISLATURE, 2013
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
Relating to the penal code.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. Section 709-906, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:
"§709-906 Abuse of family or household members; penalty. (1) It shall be unlawful for any person, singly or in concert, to physically abuse a family or household member or to refuse compliance with the lawful order of a police officer under subsection (4). The police, in investigating any complaint of abuse of a family or household member, upon request, may transport the abused person to a hospital or safe shelter.
For the purposes of this section, "family or household member" means spouses, partners in a romantic relationship, or reciprocal beneficiaries, former spouses or reciprocal beneficiaries, persons who have a child in common, parents, children, persons related by consanguinity, and persons jointly residing or formerly residing in the same dwelling unit.
(2) Any police officer, with or without a warrant, may arrest a person if the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the person is physically abusing, or has physically abused, a family or household member and that the person arrested is guilty thereof.
(3) A police officer who has reasonable grounds to believe that the person is physically abusing, or has physically abused, a family or household member shall prepare a written report.
(4) Any police officer, with or without a warrant, may take the following course of action where the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that there was physical abuse or harm inflicted by one person upon a family or household member, regardless of whether the physical abuse or harm occurred in the officer's presence:
(a) The police officer may make reasonable inquiry of the family or household member upon whom the officer believes physical abuse or harm has been inflicted and other witnesses as there may be;
(b) Where the police officer has reasonable grounds to believe that there is probable danger of further physical abuse or harm being inflicted by one person upon a family or household member, the police officer lawfully shall order the person to leave the premises for a period of separation of twenty-four hours, during which time the person shall not initiate any contact, either by telephone or in person, with the family or household member; provided that the person is allowed to enter the premises with police escort to collect any necessary personal effects;
(c) Where the police officer makes the finding referred to in paragraph (b) and the incident occurs after 12:00 p.m. on any Friday, or on any Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the order to leave the premises and to initiate no further contact shall commence immediately and be in full force, but the twenty-four hour period shall be enlarged and extended until 4:30 p.m. on the first day following the weekend or legal holiday;
(d) All persons who are ordered to leave as stated above shall be given a written warning citation stating the date, time, and location of the warning and stating the penalties for violating the warning. A copy of the warning citation shall be retained by the police officer and attached to a written report which shall be submitted in all cases. A third copy of the warning citation shall be given to the abused person;
(e) If the person so ordered refuses to comply with the order to leave the premises or returns to the premises before the expiration of the period of separation, or if the person so ordered initiates any contact with the abused person, the person shall be placed under arrest for the purpose of preventing further violation of the police officer's lawful stay-away order to leave the premises or further physical abuse or harm to the family or household member; and
(f) The police officer shall seize all firearms and ammunition that the police officer has reasonable grounds to believe were used or threatened to be used in the commission of an offense under this section.
(5) Abuse of a family or household member and refusal to comply with the lawful order of a police officer under subsection (4) are misdemeanors and the person shall be sentenced as follows:
(a) For the first offense the person shall serve a
minimum jail sentence of [
forty-eight] ninety-six hours; and
(b) For a second offense that occurs within one year
of the first conviction, the person shall be termed a "repeat
offender" and serve a minimum jail sentence of [
Upon conviction and sentencing of the defendant, the court shall order that the defendant immediately be incarcerated to serve the mandatory minimum sentence imposed; provided that the defendant may be admitted to bail pending appeal pursuant to chapter 804. The court may stay the imposition of the sentence if special circumstances exist.
(6) Whenever a court sentences a person pursuant to subsection (5), it also shall require that the offender undergo any available domestic violence intervention programs ordered by the court. However, the court may suspend any portion of a jail sentence, except for the mandatory sentences under subsection (5)(a) and (b), upon the condition that the defendant remain arrest-free and conviction-free or complete court-ordered intervention.
(7) For a third or any subsequent offense that
occurs within [
two] five years of a second or subsequent
conviction, the offense shall be a class C felony.
(8) Where the physical abuse consists of intentionally or knowingly impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of the family or household member by applying pressure on the throat or the neck, abuse of a family or household member is a class C felony.
(9) Where the physical abuse occurs in the presence of any family or household member who is less than ten years of age, abuse of a family or household member is a class C felony.
(9)] (10) Any police officer who
arrests a person pursuant to this section shall not be subject to any civil or
criminal liability; provided that the police officer acts in good faith, upon
reasonable belief, and does not exercise unreasonable force in effecting the
(10)] (11) The family or
household member who has been physically abused or harmed by another person may
petition the family court, with the assistance of the prosecuting attorney of
the applicable county, for a penal summons or arrest warrant to issue forthwith
or may file a criminal complaint through the prosecuting attorney of the
(11)] (12) The respondent shall
be taken into custody and brought before the family court at the first possible
opportunity. The court may dismiss the petition or hold the respondent in
custody, subject to bail. Where the petition is not dismissed, a hearing shall
(12)] (13) This section shall
not operate as a bar against prosecution under any other section of this Code
in lieu of prosecution for abuse of a family or household member.
(13)] (14) It shall be the duty
of the prosecuting attorney of the applicable county to assist any victim under
this section in the preparation of the penal summons or arrest warrant.
(14)] (15) This section shall
not preclude the physically abused or harmed family or household member from
pursuing any other remedy under law or in equity.
(15)] (16) When a person is
ordered by the court to undergo any domestic violence intervention, that person
shall provide adequate proof of compliance with the court's order. The court
shall order a subsequent hearing at which the person is required to make an
appearance, on a date certain, to determine whether the person has completed
the ordered domestic violence intervention. The court may waive the subsequent
hearing and appearance where a court officer has established that the person
has completed the intervention ordered by the court."
SECTION 2. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.
SECTION 3. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed
and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
Penal Code; Abuse of Family or Household Members
Amends penal code to include partners in a romantic relationship as family or household members. Changes penalties for abuse and makes abuse that occurs in the presence of household member under ten a Class C felony.
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.