Hawaii Supreme Court issued a significant decision today concerning the rights of individuals charged with crimes, although specifically with regards to concerns that occur regularly for anyone charged with DUI. The DUI case, State v Alkire, involved a person arrested and charged with DUI. Richard Holcomb the attorney for Alkire, had requested that the preservation of the police station videos DUI defense attorney Holcomb had also requested a copy of the videos. The Hawaii Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the intermediate court of appeals (ICA) affirming the judgment of the district court convicting Defendant of operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant (OVUII), holding that the district court abused its discretion in denying Defendant’s motion to compel. ruled that those videos are materials to the preparation of a defense and Alkire was entitled to them. Furthermore, if the State fails to preserve them, as it seems was done in Alkire’s case (at oral argument the prosecutor did not even know if the videos had been destroyed but assumed they were), then the case should be dismissed or at least an adverse inference should be used that the lost or destroyed materials support the defendant’s case. The case also addressed the habit that local court have of starting a matter and not finishing it then but continuing the case for months on end. That was held to violate the defendant’s rights. These are matters that few attorneys raise and Alkire’s attorney Richard Holcomb has been making these arguments for years and will use this decision to protect his client’s future and fight for their rights.
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