Sufficiency of Indictment In Arizona

In State v. Smith, 66 Ariz. 376, 379, 189 P.2d 205, 207 (1948), the Arizona Supreme Court indicated that the sufficiency of an indictment is an issue of subject matter jurisdiction. The court stated that "in a criminal case the court acquires no jurisdiction of the subject matter of an alleged offense unless the jurisdictional facts constituting the offense are set forth in the information." Id. In that case, the information failed to allege that the subject car accident happened on a public highway, which was an element of the offense of leaving the scene of an accident. The supreme court therefore determined that the indictment did not allege a public offense and the trial court lacked jurisdiction. Id.