State v. Fox

124 Idaho 924, 866 P.2d 181 (1993)

 

RULE:

A general criminal intent requirement is satisfied if it is shown that the defendant knowingly performed the proscribed acts but a specific intent requirement refers to that state of mind which in part defines the crime and is an element thereof. The intent required by Idaho Code § 18-114 is not the intent to commit a crime, but is merely the intent to knowingly perform the interdicted act, or by criminal negligence the failure to perform the required act.

FACTS:

Defendant ordered and received 100,000 tablets of ephedrine from an out-of-state mail order distributor. Ephedrine is a controlled substance in Idaho but for some states, this may be sold over-the-counter. Defendant was charged with conspiracy to manufacture a controlled substance and possession of ephedrine. The trial court dismissed the conspiracy count. The trial court refused to allow defendant to enter into evidence several magazines that carried mail order advertisements for ephedrine from out-of-state suppliers. Later, defendant renewed his argument that the magazines were relevant to show his state of mind. The trial court again refused to admit the magazines. Defendant entered a conditional plea of guilty to the possession count.

ISSUE:

Whether in a crime for possession of a controlled substance, knowledge that the substance possessed is a controlled substance is necessary to establish defendant’s guilt.

ANSWER:

No.

CONCLUSION:

The court affirmed defendant's conviction and determined that the only intent relevant to the crime was the knowing possession of ephedrine. The court found that any evidence showing defendant's lack of knowledge that ephedrine was illegal was irrelevant. Thus, the court concluded that the magazines were not relevant.

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