Martin v. State
31 Ala. App. 334, 12 So.2d 427 (1944)
Martin was at home, drunk and
belligerent. The police came and arrested him. They tossed him in the
back of the police car and drove him to the police station.
Along the way, Martin
continued to be drunk and belligerent.
The prosecutor charged Martin
with being publicly intoxicated.
The Trial Court convicted
Martin. He appealed.
The Appellate Court overturned
The Appellate Court found
that Martin was not voluntarily in
public. He was only there because the police forcibly carried him there.
The basic point of this case
is that in order to be culpable, there is usually a requirement that the
actions be voluntary.
Involuntariness is an actus reus defense, which means that the person never
intended to do the act (like they were sleepwalking or having an
epileptic attack). There is also a mens rea defense, which means that the person intended
to do the act, but had a good excuse (like they were under duress, were
insane, or the act was an accident).
In this case, Martin never intended to be in public. He was carried there
against his will, therefore it's a actus reus defense.