The mechanisms and transient characteristics of hot hole stress induced leakage current (SILC) in tunned oxides are investigated. Positive oxide charge assisted tunneling is found to be a dominant SILC mechanism in a hot hole stressed device. The SILC transient is attributed to oxide hole detrapping and thus annihilation of positive charge assisted tunneling centers. Our characterization shows that the leakage current transient in a 100-Å oxide obeys a power law time dependence t -m with the power factor n significantly less than one. An annalytical model accounting for the observed time dependence is proposed.