Stiffer penalties for crimes during lava emergency
PAHOA, Hawaii (AP) - The public is reminded that classifications of certain crimes are elevated during an emergency declaration that's in effect for lava flowing in the Puna district.
Mayor Billy Kenoi proclaimed a state of emergency for the Puna district on Sept. 4.
Police say that means burglary can be punishable by up to 20 years in prison without possibility for probation if committed while the emergency declaration is in effect. Petty misdemeanor criminal property damage would normally be punishable by up to 30 days in jail. But under the declaration, punishment increases to up to 10 years in prison.
Other crimes including theft, robbery and assaulting an emergency worker also come with elevated penalties during this time.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.