State v. Bachicha

Decision Date13 October 1972
Docket NumberNo. 912,912
Citation503 P.2d 1175,1972 NMCA 141,84 N.M. 397
PartiesSTATE of New Mexico, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Raymond L. BACHICHA, Defendant-Appellant.
CourtCourt of Appeals of New Mexico
OPINION

HENDLEY, Judge.

Convicted of the unlawful taking of a vehicle contrary to § 64--9--4, N.M.S.A.1953 (2d Repl.Vol. 9, pt. 2) defendant appeals. Defendant's first point relating to failure to instruct on an essential element of the offense (criminal intent) is dispositive of the appeal. We reverse.

The trial court's instructions Nos. 2 and 5 read as follows:

'No. 2--The Statute under which this charge is brought reads as follows: 64--9--4. UNLAWFUL TAKING OF A VEHICLE.--(a) Any person who shall take any vehicle intentionally and without consent of the owner thereof shall be guilty of a felony.'

'No. 5--You are instructed that the intent with which an act is done is a mental process and, as such, generally remains hidden within the mind where it was conceived and is seldom, if ever, susceptible of proof by direct evidence, but must be inferred and established by the acts, conduct and doings of the person having such intent and from the facts and circumstances surrounding such acts, conduct and doings, and in determining the intent with which the defendant in this case committed the act or acts charged in this indictment, if you find that he did so, it is proper for you to consider his acts, conduct and doings together with all the other facts and circumstances proved on the trial of this case.'

Defendant's trial counsel made no objection to these instructions nor did he request a proper instruction. Defendant's counsel contends that the instruction omitted an essential element of the crime, namely, criminal intent. He further contends that such an omission is jurisdictional and may be raised for the first time on appeal. We agree.

Criminal intent is an essential element of the unlawful taking of a vehicle. State v. Austin, 80 N.M. 748, 461 P.2d 230 (Ct.App.1969). Failure to instruct on an essential element is jurisdictional and may be raised the first time on appeal. State v. Walsh, 81 N.M. 65, 463 P.2d 41 (Ct.App.1969).

The state would have us find that an instruction on criminal intent is included in instruction No. 5, and that that instruction '* * * could have only suggested to the jury that they must consider such an element: * * * (criminal intent).' and that instruction No. 5 '* * * also concerns the determination of criminal intent.' The state would have us reach this conclusion by reading instruction Nos. 2 and 5 together. State v. Gruender, 83 N.M. 327, 491 P.2d 1082 (Ct.App.1971). However, in reading the instructions as a whole we fail to find the jury was instructed on the essential element of criminal intent. The jury must have more than a suggestion. It must be instructed on the essential element of a 'conscious wrongdoing'. Compare State v. Austin, supra.

Reversed and remanded...

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10 cases
  • State v. Fuentes, 1064
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of New Mexico
    • April 27, 1973
    ...do not overrule our decision in State v. Austin, 80 N.M. 748, 461 P.2d 230 (Ct.App.1969) and some of its progeny. State v. Bachicha, 84 N.M. 397, 503 P.2d 1175 (Ct.App.1972); State v. Lopez, (Lopez 1), supra; State v. Pedro, 83 N.M. 212, 490 P.2d 470 (Ct.App.1971); State v. Sanchez, 82 N.M.......
  • State v. Puga
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of New Mexico
    • May 23, 1973
    ...language of the statute will be a sufficient instruction on the issue of intent for all crimes. For example, in State v. Bachicha, 84 N.M. 397, 503 P.2d 1175 (Ct.App.1972) the statute involved, § 64--9--4, N.M.S.A.1953 (2d Repl.Vol. 9, pt. 2), which was read to the jury, referred to the int......
  • State v. Montoya
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of New Mexico
    • March 20, 1974
    ...in terms of 'conscious wrongdoing' or its equivalent. State v. Lopez, 84 N.M. 453, 504 P.2d 1086 (Ct.App.1972); State v. Bachicha, 84 N.M. 397, 503 P.2d 1175 (Ct.App.1972); State v. Pedro, supra; State v. Austin, 80 N.M. 748, 461 P.2d 230 (Ct.App.1969). The second method is to instruct the ......
  • State v. Mascarenas
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of New Mexico
    • September 11, 1974
    ...that conscious wrongdoing was an element of the crime of aggravated assault under § 40A--3--2(A), supra. Compare State v. Bachicha, 84 N.M. 397, 503 P.2d 1175 (Ct.App.1972). Because the jury was not instructed on the element of criminal intent, the judgment and sentence is reversed. The cau......
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