The Office of the Prosecuting Attorney is the legal agency responsible for the prosecution of all criminal offenses occurring on the Big Island of Hawai‘i. Prosecution is a key component of law enforcement and public safety for our community. The Prosecutor’s duty is to faithfully execute and enforce violations of state and county laws, ordinances, rules and regulations. Deputy Prosecutors are available 24/7 to the Police Department for felony charging decisions and review of warrants. Deputy Prosecutors attend District Court, Family Court, Circuit Court, Grand Jury, the Intermediate Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of the State of Hawai‘i. Deputies also appear in federal courts, including the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court, to see that Big Island convictions are not overturned. Our agency’s duty and goal is to seek justice in criminal cases on behalf of the community.
The Office of the Prosecuting Attorney maintains offices in Hilo, Kealakekua and Waimea to service Big Island residents.
Career Criminal Prosecution Program
The Hawai‘i State Legislature found that “a substantial and disproportionate amount of serious crime is committed against the people by a relatively small number of multiple and repeat felony offenders, commonly known as career criminals.” See, HRS 845. The Career Criminal Program (CCP) identifies defendants who are repeat offenders who substantially and disproportionately commit serious crime or may be on the path toward committing serious crime.
CCP identifies the career criminal by finding trends in defendant’s criminal conduct and brings independent cases together for analysis and prosecution, with a strategy to address public safety as well as effective intervention for these defendants. In some cases, this may mean pre-trial detention or incarceration and maximum terms of imprisonment; in other cases, entry into the Big Island Drug Court, or other probation program, such as HOPE.
Forfeitures are a means of discouraging illegal activity by removing assets derived from or used to engage in criminal activity. The office participates in the State Asset Forfeiture and Federal Forfeiture programs and was involved in dismantling some multi-state drug rings. The office shares in a percentage of the proceeds.