HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

1251

THIRTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2023

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to the seeking of assistance.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that women and marginalized persons in the sex trade are often reluctant to disclose their victimization to legal authorities and medical providers. As a result, they are often revictimized, significantly triggered, and misdirected to believe that they cannot be served and that they are criminals. Most of these individuals are not able to safely disclose their situations without fear of violent retaliation from their trafficker or buyer.

The legislature further finds that it is important to recognize that the participation of women and marginalized persons in the sex trade should not bar their access to resources, safety, and compassion. Therefore, the purpose of this Act is to provide protections to individuals involved in the sex trade from the consequences under criminal law of disclosing their engagement or being identified as engaging in prostitution while in the course of seeking medical or law enforcement assistance.

SECTION 2. Chapter 712, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to part I to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"712-    Seeking of medical or law enforcement assistance; protections. (a) No person who would be subject to prosecution under section 712-1200 who, in good faith, seeks medical assistance or law enforcement assistance for the person's self or another person, or who is the subject of such a good faith request, shall:

(1) Be cited, arrested, charged, prosecuted, or convicted;

(2) Have the person's property subject to civil forfeiture; or

(3) Otherwise be penalized pursuant to section 712-1200,

if the evidence for the citation, arrest, charge, prosecution, conviction, forfeiture, or penalty was gained as a result of the seeking of medical assistance or seeking of law enforcement assistance, including while the person is experiencing a substance-related crisis or witnessing another person's experiencing a substance-related crisis.

(b) As used in this section:

"Medical assistance" includes mental health assistance and services.

"Seeks medical assistance" or "seeking of medical assistance" includes but is not limited to:

(1) Reporting a substance overdose to law enforcement, the 911 emergency system, a poison control center, or a medical provider;

(2) Assisting someone who is making such a report; or

(3) Providing care to someone who is experiencing a substance overdose while awaiting the arrival of medical assistance.

"Seeks law enforcement assistance" or "seeking of law enforcement assistance" includes but is not limited to:

(1) Making a report to police or any other law enforcement agency via direct contact with an officer of the law or through contact with the 911 emergency system to relay a law enforcement-related emergency;

(2) Assisting someone who is making such a report; or

(3) Providing care to someone while awaiting the arrival of law enforcement assistance.

"Substance" means alcohol, any drug on schedules I through IV of chapter 329, or any substance that includes in its composition volatile organic solvents."

SECTION 3. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.

SECTION 4. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 


 


 

Report Title:

Seeking of Medical or Law Enforcement Assistance; Sex Trade; Prostitution

 

Description:

Provides protections to individuals involved in the sex trade from the consequences under criminal law of disclosing their engagement or being identified as engaging in prostitution while in the course of seeking medical or law enforcement assistance.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.