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In Hawaii can a person who was dismissed in court for DUI be summoned back to court within the year?

Honolulu, HI |

A friend went to court for DUI the judge dismissed the case. The DUI was dismissed in February. Now, 8 months later the police is looking for him to summon him back to court. Is it likely that the court will reopen the case. He has only 4 more months to make it a year after the court case.

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Attorney answers 2


In Hawaii, when DUI cases are dismissed for the State not producing its witnesses (police officers), the judge unfortunately dismisses the case without prejudice. This means that the State has up to the statute of limitations to refile the charges. If the case is dismissed again because the police officers do not appear or the State exceeds the 180 day speedy trial window, the case will likely be dismissed with prejudice, which means the charges cannot be refiled.

The statute of limitations for a first offense DUI (and second and third offense) is one year. The statute of limitations does not run while charges are pending. So, in your friends case, because charges were pending from the date of arrest to the date of dismissal in February, the State should have about one year to refile the charges. It doesn't matter that there's four more months to make a year after the court case because the charge was filed within a year and once it's filed, the statute of limitation tolls.

In all seriousness, your friend should contact an attorney because a knowledgeable will be able to figure out what the next steps should be to avoid further prosecution.


Dismissal at trial means it cannot be recharged. Dismissal for government misconduct usually means it can't be recharged. Dismissal because they did not file a complaint usually means they still can file the complaint.

Your friend should be contacting a DUI/DWI lawyer, there, now. He should also be paying attention to what your DMV is doing. These proceedings are often completely separate.

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