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Martin v. State

Scott Caron

ProfessorScott Caron

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CaseCast –  "What you need to know"

Martin v. State

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Brief Fact Summary. A police officer arrested the Defendant at his home and took him onto a public highway. The Defendant was convicted thereafter for being drunk on a public highway, and he appeals.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. A person must voluntarily commit the crime charged in order to be guilty of the crime.

Points of Law - Legal Principles in this Case for Law Students.

The rule has been declared, and we think it sound, that an accusation of drunkenness in a designated public place cannot be established by proof that the accused, while in an intoxicated condition, was involuntarily and forcibly carried to that place by the arresting officer.

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Facts. The Defendant was arrested by police officers at his home and taken onto the highway. While on the highway, he manifested a drunken condition by using loud and profane words. For his conduct on the highway, the Defendant was convicted of being drunk on a public highway. He thereafter appealed his conviction.

Issue. Is the Defendant’s conviction proper under the circumstances?

Held. No. The statute the Defendant allegedly violated states, “Any person who, while intoxicated or drunk, appears in any public place where one or more persons are present, and manifests a drunken condition by boisterous or indecent conduct, or loud and profane discourse, shall, on conviction, be fined.” Such a statute presupposes voluntary appearance. The Defendant was involuntarily taken onto the highway and cannot therefore be convicted of the crime charged.

Discussion. A person must commit the crime charged on his own accord.

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