This decision is published in table format in the Pacific and Hawai'i reporter.
APPEAL FROM THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE THIRD CIRCUIT. (Kona Division). (CASE NO. 3DTA-13-00375).
Tyler I. Gomes, Deputy Public Defender, for Defendant-Appellant.
Terri L. Fujioka-Lilley, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, County of Hawai'i, for Plaintiff-Appellee.
By: Nakamura, Chief Judge, and Foley and Ginoza, JJ.
SUMMARY DISPOSITION ORDER
Plaintiff-Appellee State of Hawai'i (State) charged Defendant-Appellant Brian Joseph Devine (Devine) by complaint with failing to appear in answer to a citation, in violation of Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) § 803-6(e) (2014). The State's complaint alleged as follows:
On or about the 23rd day of January, 2013, in North Kohala, County and State of Hawai'i, BRIAN JOSEPH DEVINE did willfully fail to appear in answer to a citation before the District Court of the Third Circuit, State of Hawaii, thereby committing the offense of Willful Failure to Appear in Answer to Citation, in violation of Section 803-6(e), Hawai'i Revised Statutes, as amended.
After a bench trial, the District Court of the Third Circuit (District Court) found Devine guilty of the charged offense. The District Court sentenced Devine to a fine of $70 and certain fees, and it entered its Judgment on April 25, 2013.
On appeal, Devine contends that: (1) the charge was " fatally deficient" because it alleged that he committed the offense " willfully" instead of " knowingly" ; and (2) there was insufficient evidence to support the District Court's guilty verdict. We affirm.
We resolve Devine's arguments on appeal as follows:
Devine did not object to the charge in the District Court and challenges the sufficiency of the charge for the first time on appeal. We therefore apply the liberal construction standard. See State v. Tominiko,126 Hawai'i 68, 76, 266 P.3d 1122, 1130 (2011). Under this standard, " 'we will not [vacate] a conviction based on a defective [charge] unless the defendant can show prejudice or that the [charge] cannot within reason be ...