Holt v. State

Decision Date15 April 1889
Citation5 So. 793,86 Ala. 599
PartiesHOLT v. STATE.
CourtAlabama Supreme Court

Appeal from city court of Mobile; O. J. SEMMES, Judge.

Clarke & Webb and H. T. & G. L. Smith, for appellant.

W L. Martin, Atty. Gen., for the State.

CLOPTON J.

The general rule in criminal pleading requires that every fact and circumstance which enters into and constitutes an essential ingredient of the offense shall be set forth in the indictment; otherwise no offense is charged. If the indictment is framed under a statute which defines the offense created, and prescribes its constituents, it must allege in the words of the statute, or other words equivalent in meaning, all the statutory elements which are essentially descriptive of the offense. Davis v. State, 68 Ala. 58; McCord v. State, 79 Ala. 269. The appellant was indicted and convicted under section 3794 of Code 1886, which declares: "Any person who buys, receives, conceals, or aids in concealing any personal property whatever, knowing that it has been stolen, and not having the intent to restore it to the owner must, on conviction, be punished as if he had stolen it." Under the statute the intent not to restore the property to the owner is an essential part of the description of the offense, which must be proved in order to convict; and whatever it is necessary to prove must be alleged with certainty and precision. McCord v. State, supra. The indictment omits to set forth the particular intent contained in the statute, but charges in the several counts that the defendant feloniously bought received, concealed, or aided in concealing the property, knowing it to have been stolen. When the words of the statute are not strictly pursued, words conveying the same meaning, having as full signification, must be employed. The mere act of buying, receiving, or concealing property, knowing it to have been stolen, is not of itself, the offense denounced by the statute. It must be done with the intent not to restore the property to the owner. Without such intent the act cannot be felonious. The term "feloniously," as employed in the indictment, is merely the statement of the legal result of the facts, including the intent, prescribed by the statute. In such case the statement of a legal result is insufficient. Under a statute which contained the following description of the offense: "Who shall buy, conceal, or receive any stolen goods and chattels, knowing the same to be...

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10 cases
  • Travis v. State
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • April 18, 1997
    ...which are essentially descriptive of the offense.' Barbee v. State, 417 So.2d 611, 612-13 (Ala.Cr.App.1982) (quoting Holt v. State, 86 Ala. 599, 600, 5 So. 793 (1889), and quoted in Tinsley v. State, 485 So.2d [1249] at 1251 [Ala.Crim.App.1986]). `The rule is that "the indictment must conta......
  • Rasberry v. State
    • United States
    • United States State Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma. Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma
    • September 9, 1909
    ... ... used in a statute to define a public offense need not be ... strictly pursued in the indictment, but other words conveying ... the same meaning may be used." Every wrongful act is not ... felonious, but every felonious act is wrongful. The Supreme ... Court of Alabama, in Holt v. State, 86 Ala. 600, 5 ... So. 793, correctly states the rule as follows: "*** If ... the indictment is framed under a statute which defines the ... offense created and prescribes its constituents, it must ... allege in the words of the statute, or other words equivalent ... in meaning ... ...
  • Barbee v. State, 3 Div. 564
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • July 27, 1982
    ...or other words equivalent in meaning, all the statutory elements which are essentially descriptive of the offense." Holt v. State, 86 Ala. 599, 600, 5 So. 793 (1888); Allen v. State, 30 Ala.App. 147, 2 So.2d 320, reversed on other grounds, Ex parte Allen, 241 Ala. 137, 2 So.2d 321 (1941); A......
  • R.S.M. v. State, CR-04-1609.
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • November 23, 2005
    ...are essentially descriptive of the offense.'" Barbee v. State, 417 So.2d 611, 612-13 (Ala.Crim.App.1982), quoting Holt v. State, 86 Ala. 599, 600, 5 So. 793, 793 (1888). "An indictment must include all of the essential elements that constitute the offense, and it must not leave any element ......
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