617 P.2d 173 (N.M.App. 1980), 4553, State v. Aranda

Docket Nº:4553.
Citation:617 P.2d 173, 94 N.M. 784, 1980 -NMCA- 130
Opinion Judge:[10] Walters
Party Name:STATE of New Mexico, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Norberto P. ARANDA, Defendant-Appellant.
Attorney:Mary Lou Carson, Santa Fe, for defendant-appellant., Jeff Bingaman, Atty. Gen., Walter G. Lombardi, Asst. Atty. Gen., Santa Fe, for plaintiff-appellee. [7] JEFF BINGAMAN, Attorney General, WALTER G. LOMBARDI, Asst. Atty. General, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Attorneys for Appellee. [8] MARY LOU CARSON,...
Judge Panel:WOOD, C. J., and ANDREWS, J., concur.
Case Date:September 11, 1980
Court:Court of Appeals of New Mexico
 
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Page 173

617 P.2d 173 (N.M.App. 1980)

94 N.M. 784, 1980 -NMCA- 130

STATE of New Mexico, Plaintiff-Appellee,

v.

Norberto P. ARANDA, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 4553.

Court of Appeals of New Mexico

September 11, 1980

Page 174

[94 N.M. 785] Mary Lou Carson, Santa Fe, for defendant-appellant.

Jeff Bingaman, Atty. Gen., Walter G. Lombardi, Asst. Atty. Gen., Santa Fe, for plaintiff-appellee.

OPINION

WALTERS, Judge.

Defendant was scheduled to be tried on two drug charges, one a felony and one a misdemeanor, on August 23, 1979. He did not appear, but voluntarily turned himself in at the sheriff's office on September 13th. When he failed to appear for trial in August, a criminal complaint was issued, and it is from a conviction on the felony charge of willful failure to appear before the court, in violation of s 31-3-9(A), N.M.S.A.1978, that this appeal is taken. We affirm.

Defendant raises three issues: (1) whether there was sufficient evidence of willfulness to support the trial court's denial of defendant's motion for directed verdict at the close of the prosecution's case; (2) whether defendant was improperly charged under the felony failure-to-appear instead of the misdemeanor charge of failing to appear if released and awaiting trial for a [94 N.M. 786]

Page 175

misdemeanor; (3) whether the failure-to-appear statute is constitutionally void for vagueness.

1. MOTION FOR DIRECTED VERDICT

At the close of the State's case-in-chief, defendant moved for a directed verdict or, in the alternative, to dismiss the grand jury indictment. He argued that the State had failed to prove the necessary element of willfulness. In overruling the motion, the trial court held that there was sufficient evidence to present a jury question.

When a defendant alleges that his motion for a directed verdict has been improperly denied, the appeals court must review the record to determine whether there was substantial evidence presented by the State to support the charges against defendant, indulging all reasonable inferences in support of the judgment and examining the evidence in the light most favorable to the State. State v. Manus, 93 N.M. 95, 597 P.2d 280, 283 (1979); State v. Lankford, 92 N.M. 1, 582 P.2d 378 (1978). However, when a motion for a directed verdict is made and denied at the close of the State's case-in-chief, and defendant thereafter...

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