Adkins v. State

In Adkins v. State, 389 P.2d 915, 916 (Alaska 1964) the supreme court not only ruled that a burglary indictment must specify the defendant's intended crime, but the court also ruled that a burglary indictment which fails to specify the defendant's intended crime is fatally flawed: it fails to "charge an offense" within the meaning of Alaska Criminal Rule 12(b)(2). This means that it is not too late for Semancik to raise this issue. Under Criminal Rule 12(b)(2) and (e), a defendant is normally obliged to raise all "defenses or objections based on defects in the indictment" before trial, otherwise these objections are forfeited. But Rule 12(b)(2) exempts two types of objections from this time limit: objections based on the indictment's "failure to show jurisdiction in the court or to charge an offense". In Adkins, the supreme court held that a burglary indictment's failure to specify the defendant's intended crime is the type of problem that falls within this latter exemption. Thus, a defendant is entitled to raise this objection on appeal even though the defendant has gone to trial and has been convicted and sentenced without ever bringing this issue to the attention of the trial court. (Adkins, 389 P.2d at 915-16.)