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Criminal Jury Instructions

Criminal Jury Instructions Home

5.3-2  Misconduct with a Motor Vehicle -- 53a-57

Revised to December 1, 2007

The defendant is charged [in count ___] with misconduct with a motor vehicle.  The statute defining this offense reads in pertinent part as follows: 

a person is guilty of misconduct with a motor vehicle when, with criminal negligence in the operation of a motor vehicle, (he/she) causes the death of another person.

For you to find the defendant guilty of this charge, the state must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:  

Element 1 - Operated a motor vehicle
The first element is that the defendant was operating a motor vehicle.  A person "operates" a motor vehicle when, while in the vehicle, (he/she)  intentionally does any act or makes use of any mechanical or electrical agency that alone or in sequence sets in motion the motive power of the vehicle.
A person acts "intentionally" with respect to conduct when (his/her) conscious objective is to engage in such conduct.  <See Intent: General, Instruction 2.3-1.> 

Element 2 - Proximate cause of death
The second element is that the defendant caused the death of <insert name of decedent> through the operation of a motor vehicle.  This means that the defendant's operation of a motor vehicle was the proximate cause of the decedent's death.  You must find proven beyond a reasonable doubt that <insert name of decedent> died as a result of the defendant's operation of a motor vehicle.  <See Proximate Cause, Instruction 2.6-1.>

Element 3 - Criminal negligence
The third element is that the defendant was criminally negligent when (he/she) caused the death, in that the act or acts causing the death involved a substantial and unjustifiable risk that was not perceived by the defendant.  <See Criminal Negligence, Instruction 2.3-5.>
 

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant was operating a motor vehicle, 2) the defendant's operation of the motor vehicle was the proximate cause of the death of <insert name of decedent>, and 3) the defendant acted with criminal negligence.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of misconduct with a motor vehicle, then you shall find the defendant guilty.  On the other hand, if you unanimously find that the state has failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt any of the elements, you shall then find the defendant not guilty.

Commentary

The elements of the crime are identified in State v. Carter, 64 Conn. App. 631, 637, cert. denied, 258 Conn. 914 (2001); see also State v. Jones, 92 Conn. App. 1 (2005) (evidence that defendant was racing with another vehicle sufficient to support proximate cause); State v. Ortiz, 29 Conn. App. 825, 835 (1993) (intoxication is not an element, but may be relevant to a finding of criminal negligence). 

Lesser included offenses
Negligent homicide with a motor vehicle in violation of General Statutes 14-222a is a lesser included offense of criminal misconduct with a motor vehicle.  State v. Pickles, 28 Conn. App. 283, 289 (1992).
 


 

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