State v. Miller (1988)

In State v. Miller, 157 Ariz. 129, 133, 755 P.2d 434, 438 (App. 1988), two individuals stole diamond rings from a department store in Arizona and then travelled to Colorado where they met the defendant, Miller, for the first time. Id. at 130, 755 P.2d at 435. Miller agreed to help them dispose of the rings in Las Vegas, but he was subsequently arrested in Utah and extradited to Arizona for theft. Id. The trial court dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction. Id. On appeal, this court affirmed because Miller's extra-territorial criminal conduct, fencing stolen merchandise, had an "insubstantial" and "indirect" effect on Arizona. Id. at 133, 755 P.2d at 438. The Court reasoned that the harm to the department store occurred before Miller agreed to help dispose of the stolen rings and therefore he neither intended to cause a direct future harm in Arizona nor did so in fact. Id. Conversely, the Court found that Arizona had jurisdiction over an out-of-state crime in Flores. 218 Ariz. at 416, P 25, 188 P.3d at 715. The defendant, Flores, was a resident of Mexico. Id. While in Mexico, he contacted a person who agreed to illegally transport him into the United States. Id. The police arrested Flores in Arizona, and he eventually pled guilty to solicitation to commit smuggling. Id. On appeal, he claimed Arizona did not have jurisdiction because the crime of solicitation was committed entirely in Mexico. Id. The Court determined that while no element of the crime had been committed in Arizona, this state nonetheless had jurisdiction because the adverse effect of the crime, Flores's illegal presence here, was the intended consequence of his crime. Id. The Court clarified what constitutes a "substantial effect," finding that the result of a crime "does not permit a state to exercise jurisdiction whenever it suffers an adverse consequence," but rather, it "must be part of the design of the actor." Id.