520 P.2d 427 (Hawai'i 1974), 5523, State v. Villados

Docket Nº:5523.
Citation:520 P.2d 427, 55 Haw. 394
Opinion Judge:[10] Richardson
Party Name:STATE of Hawaii, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Alberto V. VILLADOS, Defendant-Appellant.
Attorney:[7] Steven H. Levinson for defendant-appellant. [8] Larry L. Zenker, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, for plaintiff-appellee.
Case Date:March 27, 1974
Court:Supreme Court of Hawai'i
 
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Page 427

520 P.2d 427 (Hawai'i 1974)

55 Haw. 394

STATE of Hawaii, Plaintiff-Appellee,

v.

Alberto V. VILLADOS, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 5523.

Supreme Court of Hawai'i.

March 27, 1974

Page 428

Syllabus by the Court

1. The general rule is that [55 Haw. 397] jurisdiction depends upon the state of affairs existing at the time it is invoked; once having attached, it is not lost by subsequent events but is retained by a court until fully exhausted by the entry of a final judgment.

2. The presumption is in favor of retention rather than divestiture of jurisdiction.

3. When the initial plea of not guilty and the demand for a jury trial by a criminal defendant charged with a misdemeanor conferred jurisdiction of a case on the circuit court, a subsequent withdrawal of the not guilty plea and implied waiver of the right to jury trial does not divest the circuit court of continuing jurisdiction over the case.

[55 Haw. 398] Steven H. Levinson, Honolulu, for defendant-appellant.

Larry L. Zenker, Deputy Pros. Atty., Honolulu, for plaintiff-appellee.

[55 Haw. 394] Before RICHARDSON, C. J., and KOBAYASHI and OGATA, JJ., and LUM, Circuit Judge, in place of LEVINSON, J., Disqualified, and LANHAM, Circuit Judge, assigned temporarily by reason of vacancy.

RICHARDSON, Chief Justice.

This case involves the question of whether the circuit court may retain jurisdiction to sentence a criminal defendant accused of a misdemeanor offense after he had first demanded a jury trial then withdrew his plea of not guilty and entered a plea of nolo contendere, or if the circuit court must remand such case to the district court for proper disposition. Defendant-appellant Alberto v. Villados was charged and found guilty in the circuit court of heedless and careless driving, in violation of HRS § 291-1. From a denial of his motion to vacate sentence, this appeal was taken.

We affirm.

Appellant was apprehended and arrested after a high speed chase on King Street in

Page 429

Honolulu on May 14, 1973. He [55 Haw. 395] was arraigned in district court on two charges: unlawful place for keeping firearms, in violation of HRS § 134-6, which carries a maximum sentence of one year and maximum fine of $1,000, and heedless and careless driving, in violation of HRS § 291-1, which also carries a maxmum sentence of one year and maximum fine of $1,000. He entered a plea of not guilty and a demand for jury trial, and the case was committed to circuit court for trial.

HRS § 603-21.5 confers upon the circuit courts jurisdiction of all 'criminal offenses cognizable under the laws of the State,' except for those offenses 'otherwise expressly provided.' HRS § 604-8 1 confers upon the...

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