State v. Sterrett

Citation207 P. 1071,35 Idaho 580
PartiesSTATE, Respondent, v. T. A. STERRETT, Appellant
Decision Date29 June 1922
CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Idaho


1. Whether a criminal intent is a necessary element of a statutory offense is a matter of construction, to be determined from the language of the statute in view of its manifest purpose and design, and where such intent is not made an ingredient of the offense, the intention with which the act is done, or the lack of any criminal intent in the premises, is immaterial.

2. Under C. S., secs. 2606 and 8087, the intentional transportation of intoxicating liquor, without legal authority, is unlawful, and the good intentions and good faith of the person transporting such liquor is immaterial.

3. Error cannot be predicated upon the action of the court in excluding evidence tending to show the defendant's good intentions and good faith, where a criminal intent is not a necessary element of the offense charged.

4. Where there is sufficient competent evidence to sustain the verdict of the jury, such verdict will not be disturbed on appeal.

APPEAL from the District Court of the Fifth Judicial District, for Bannock County. Hon. O. R. Baum, Judge.

Defendant was convicted of transporting intoxicating liquor. Affirmed.


J. M Stevens and H. E. Ray, for Appellant, cite no authorities on points decided.

Roy L Black, Attorney General, Dean Driscoll and Jas. L. Boone Assistants, for Respondent.

The only intent necessary to constitute the offense of transporting intoxicating liquors is the intent to transport. (State v. Sheehan, 33 Idaho 103, 190 P. 71.)

A person is bound to know whether he is a de jure officer. So the argument of good faith or good intentions avails him nothing if he is not in truth and in fact an officer. (22 R. C. L. 600, sec. 323; 29 Cyc. 934; Creighton v. Commonwealth, 83 Ky. 142, 4 Am. St. 143; Short v. Symmes, 150 Mass. 298, 15 Am. St. 204, 23 N.E. 42; Moon v. City of Champaign, 214 Ill. 40, 73 N.E. 408; Miller v. Callaway, 32 Ark. 666; People v. Hopson, 1 Denio (N. Y.), 574; Cummings v. Clark, 15 Vt. 653; Colton v. Beardsley, 38 Barb. (N. Y.) 29-34.)

BUDGE, J. Rice, C. J., and McCarthy and Dunn, JJ., concur.



Appellant was convicted of the crime of transporting intoxicating liquor into a prohibition district in the state of Idaho, from which he appeals.

From the record it appears that appellant was apprehended by two deputy sheriffs of Bannock county, while hauling two kegs of intoxicating liquor in a wagon, upon a public highway within said county, several miles from Alexander, Caribou county, on the afternoon of April 12, 1919. There is some evidence in the record tending to show that on the morning of said day appellant was in Soda Springs, where he appeared before the acting probate judge of Caribou county and made an affidavit of the existence of some intoxicating liquor near Alexander, that a search-warrant was issued by the probate judge and handed to appellant with verbal instructions to seize the liquor, if found, and bring it to Soda Springs, and that appellant as a de facto officer seized the liquor at Alexander and by reason of the impassable condition of other roads was hauling it toward Soda Springs by a road which lay for some distance within the boundaries of Bannock county.

Appellant makes six assignments of error, the first five of which relate to the action of the court in sustaining objections of the state to certain testimony sought to be elicited in his behalf, tending to show that he was traveling toward Soda Springs when he was apprehended; that he and witness Barnett were orally deputized by the probate judge to get the particular whisky which was found in his possession upon his apprehension; that he exhibited to witness Allen, whom he employed, with a team and wagon, to haul the liquor to appellant's ranch near Alexander, a search-warrant before loading the liquor; and that he directed Allen to drive to said ranch for the purpose of getting a heavier team to haul the liquor to Soda Springs; and in sustaining the objection of the state to the introduction of the search-warrant claimed to have been issued and delivered to him by the probate judge.

Counsel for appellant cites no authorities supporting his position upon these matters, but contends merely that the evidence in each case was competent to go to the jury as establishing the good intention and good faith of appellant in the premises.

C. S., sec. 2606, under which appellant was convicted, provides that: "It shall be unlawful for any person . . . . to transport any intoxicating liquor or alcohol unless the same was procured and is so possessed and transported under a permit as hereinafter provided . . . ."

C S., sec. 8087, provides "In every crime or public...

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30 cases
  • State v. Taylor
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • February 8, 1939
    ... ... and pay over the same in the manner prescribed by law, is ... guilty of a felony, and intent is not an element of this ... statutory crime. (Secs. 17-3201, 17-3202, I. C. A.; State ... v. Browne, 4 Idaho 723, 44 P. 552; State v ... Sterrett, 35 Idaho 580, 207 P. 1071; State v ... Cochrane, 51 Idaho 521, 6 P.2d 489.) ... Any ... error in instructions is without prejudice where jury without ... violation of oath could not have failed to find defendant ... guilty, and if the evidence of defendant's guilt is ... ...
  • State v. Ayres
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • November 2, 1949
    ... ... 94, 47 P.2d 423, 428; ... Holder v. State, 31 Ariz. 357, 253 P. 629, 632-633; 16 C.J ... 1113, § 2606 ... Intent ... was not an element of the homicide. It was a statutory crime, ... and no intent was included, but on the contrary. Idaho Code, ... § 18-4006; State v. Sterrett, 35 Idaho 580, 207 ... P. 1071; State v. Salhus, 68 Idaho 75, 189 P.2d 372 ... Taylor, ... Justice. Holden, C. J., and Givens, Porter and Keeton, JJ., ... Taylor, ... [211 P.2d 143] ... [70 ... Idaho 21] Appellant (defendant below) was convicted ... ...
  • State v. Diaz
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    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • April 6, 2022 element of the offense, the lack of knowledge or mistake of fact surrounding that element is irrelevant. See State v. Sterrett , 35 Idaho 580, 583, 207 P. 1071, 1072 (1922) (for illegal transportation of liquor, a general intent crime, "the good intentions and good faith of the person tr......
  • State v. Stiffler
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • March 6, 1990
    ...had sexual intercourse would disprove the criminal intent required before he could be convicted of statutory rape. In State v. Sterrett, 35 Idaho 580, 207 P. 1071 (1922), this Court summarized the law of criminal intent as it had developed in Idaho to that At common law a crime possessed th......
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