Balfe v. People, 9397.

Docket Nº9397.
Citation179 P. 137, 66 Colo. 94
Case DateMarch 03, 1919
CourtSupreme Court of Colorado

Department 1.

Error to District Court, Arapahoe County; J. C. Wiley, Judge.

P. L Balfe, Jr., was convicted of violating the Liquor Law of 1915, and brings error. Judgment affirmed.

See also, 170 P. 189.

C. A Irwin and Frank E. Hickey, both of Denver, for plaintiff in error.

Leslie E. Hubbard, Atty. Gen., and Charles Roach Ralph E. C. Kerwin, and Bertram B. Beshoar, Asst. Attys. Gen., for the People.


The plaintiff in error was convicted of violating the liquor law of $1915, and brings error.

The information was in three counts, the third being dismissed on the trial. The jury returned a verdict of guilty on the first and the second counts, and a jail sentence was imposed under each count, to run concurrently. Under a motion in arrest of judgment the sufficiency of the information was for the first time questioned.

It is contended that the first count is bad because not charging the commission of an offense in the county of Arapahoe. Omitting the formal parts, the count charges:

'That P. L. Balfe, Jr., on, to wit, the 4th day of February, 1917, county of Arapahoe, state of Colorado, did unlawfully import into the state of Colorado intoxicating liquor, to wit, whisky, for sale and gift, contrary to the form of the statute in such case made and provided, and against the peace and dignity of the people of the state of Colorado.'

The objection is that the words 'County of Arapahoe,' without more, do not locate the place in which the offense is charged to have been committed. It is said that the preposition 'at' or 'within' is required to give meaning to the words used, and that the words, having been omitted, may not be supplied.

Several cases are cited in which the omission of a word in an information or indictment is held fatal, but they are quite different from this case.

The caption contains the words 'County of Arapahoe,' and resort may be had to it to determine the venue. 12 Stand. Ency. of Proc. 436.

Moreover, this must be considered a merely formal objection, and it will not be considered on a motion in arrest. Section 1956, R. S. 1908. Under this same section, the objection, made after the trial, must be held bad because it does not go to 'the real merits of the offense charged.' No one could fail to understand from the information that it charged that an offense had been committed in Arapahoe county.

The further objection is made that the first count does not charge an offense with a sufficient degree of certainty. Section 1 of the act of 1915 (Laws 1915, p. 275), under which the prosecution was brought provides that:

'No person, association or corporation shall import into this state any intoxicating liquors for sale or gift.'

The information charges the offense substantially in the language of this statute, and is sufficient under our recent decision in cause No. 9046 (Highley v. People, 177 P. 975), where like objection was made to an information under said act.

We see no force in the objection that it was not charged that the accused knew that the liquor was intoxicating. The only case cited in its support is from Maine, where the offense was defined as 'knowingly' transporting, etc.

Error is assigned also on the admission of testimony concerning the reputation of a hotel or rooming house in Denver, as to unlawful dealings in liquor, said place being one at which defendant had resided, and which he had, according to one witness, named as his place of residence.

In Bondurant v. State (Okl. Cr. App.) 171 P. 488, it was held that such testimony was admissible, where one was charged with having possession of liquor with intent to violate the provisions of the prohibitory liquor law, for the purpose of showing the unlawful intent.

However though the testimony were improperly admitted, it cannot be held to have been prejudicial error under the circumstances of this case. The evidence was abundantly sufficient, without this testimony, to justify a finding that the liquor was imported for unlawful purposes. Undisputed testimony, to which no objection was made, established the fact that defendant had received, within five weeks, consignments of liquor at two other places near Denver. This...

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16 cases
  • Koontz v. People, 11883.
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • December 5, 1927
    ...7103. We have examined the transcript of the record, and believe that the verdict and judgment are manifestly correct. In Balfe v. People, 66 Colo. 94, 97, 179 P. 137, we said that in such circumstances, technical errors are not ground for reversal. In May v. People, 77 Colo. 432, 435, 236 ......
  • Oaks v. People, 19992
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • April 23, 1962
    ...has been clearly proven. May v. People, 77 Colo. 432, 236 P. 1022; cf. Phenneger v. People, 85 Colo. 442, 276 P. 983; Balfe v. People, 66 Colo. 94, 179 P. 137. But even technical errors may in some circumstances form the bases for If technical errors result in 'prejudice to the substantial ......
  • People v. Hamrick, 78-045
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals of Colorado
    • February 1, 1979 was not error to fail to instruct on the meaning of that term. See Simms v. People, 174 Colo. 85, 482 P.2d 974 (1971); Balfe v. People, 66 Colo. 94, 179 P. 137 Finally, defendant contends that there was sufficient cumulative error to require reversal. We disagree. Cumulative "technical e......
  • Albert v. People, 12967.
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • January 25, 1932
    ...that do not tend to prejudice the substantial rights of the defendant on the merits are not encouraged. C. L. § 7103; Balfe v. People, 66 Colo. 94, 179 P. 137; Henry v. People, 72 Colo. 5, 209 P. 511; May v. People, [7 P.2d 823] 77 Colo. 432, 435, 236 P. 1022; Gizewski v. People, 78 Colo. [......
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