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Assault is a common crime and arises when a person injures someone else. The level of crime is based on how serious the injury is and may also depend on whether the injury was caused with a dangerous instrument.
It is important to note that a dangerous instrument does not have to be inherently dangerous and is merely an object that is used in a dangerous way and has the potential to inflict serious bodily harm. A vehicle, a rock or even a champagne bottle in a bar fight can be dangerous instruments if they are used to hurt someone.
First Degree Assault
This level of assault is the most serious and is charged as a Class B felony. A person commits assault 1° by intentionally or knowingly causing serious bodily injury to another person.
Hawaii First Degree Assault Statute
Second Degree Assault
You might be charged with assault 2° if you intentionally or recklessly cause substantial bodily injury to someone else or if you cause any bodily injury with a dangerous instrument. Assault 2° is charged as a Class C felony.
Hawaii Second Degree Assault Statute
Third Degree Assault
Assault 3° is a misdemeanor. There are several circumstances when this crime might be charged. Assault 3° typically arises when you intentionally cause bodily injury to someone else or if you hurt another person by doing something a reasonable person would not have done with a dangerous instrument.
If this level of assault occurs in a fight where both people are fighting willingly, it is charged as a petty misdemeanor.