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 conviction.
    • 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.