Martin v. State | 31 AlaApp 334 | January 18, 1944 | Griswold Reading Groups


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Martin v. State

Original Creator: Jeannie Suk Current Version: Griswold Reading Groups
17 So.2d 427






4 DIV. 805.
Court of Appeals of Alabama.
Jan. 18, 1944.
Rehearing Granted March 21, 1944.

Appeal from Circuit Court, Houston County; D. C. Halstead.


Cephus Martin was convicted of public drunkenness, and he appeals.


Reversed and rendered on rehearing.


W. Perry Calhoun, of Dothan, for appellant.


The original arrest being unlawful and without a warrant, the subsequent happenings by appellant should not be used against him to make out a Case of public drunkenness. If appellant’s acts were the result of compulsion and duress, this is a good defense. Browning v. State, ante, p. 137, 13 So.2d 54; Gassenheìmer v. State, 52 Ala. 313.


Wm. N. McQueen, Acting Atty. Gen., and Frank N. Savage, Asst. Atty. Gen., for the State.


It is no defense to the perpetration of a crime that facilities for its commission were purposely placed in the way. Nelson v. City Of Roanoke, Z4 Ala.App. 277, 135 So. 312. Compulsion which will excuse crime must be Present, imminent and impending and of Such nature as to induce a well-grounded apprehension of death or serious bodily harm if the act is not done. Such compulsion must have arisen without the fault or negligence of the person asserting it as a defense. 22 Criminal Law, page 99, 44; 16 CJ. 91; Moore v. State, 23 Ala. App. 432, 127 So. 796; Thomas v. State, 134 Ala. 126, 33 So.« 130; Browning v. State, ante, p. 137, 13 So.2d 54. Burden of proving defense of duress is upon accused. 22 C.]. S., Criminal Law, page 888, 575.




Appellant was convicted of being drunk on a public highway, and appeals. Officers of the law arrested him at his home and took him onto the highway, where he allegedly committed the proscribed acts, viz., manifested a drunken condition by using loud and profane language.


The pertinent provisions of our statute are: “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”, etc. Code 1940, Title 14, Section 120.


Under the plain terms of this statute, a voluntary appearance is presupposed. 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. Thomas v. State, 33 Ga. 134, 125 S.E. 778; Reddick v. State, 35 Ga. 256, 132 S.E. 645; Gunn v. State, 37 Ga. 333, 140 S.E. 524; 28 C.]. S., Drunkards, 14, p. 560.


Conviction of appellant was contrary to this announced principle and, in our view, erroneous. It appears that no legal conviction can be sustained under the evidence, so, consonant with the prevai1ing rule, the judgment of the trial court is reversed and one here rendered discharging appellant. Code 1940, Title 7, Section 260; Robison v. State, 30 Ala.App. 12, 200 So. 626; Atkins v. State, 27 Ala.App. 212, 169 So. 330.


Of consequence, our original opinion of affordance was likewise laid in error. It is therefore withdrawn.


Reversed and rendered.

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