History of the Connecticut Judicial Seal Home Home BannerBanner








Criminal Jury Instructions

Criminal Jury Instructions Home

9.4-3  Criminal Trespass in the Second Degree -- 53a-108

Revised to December 1, 2007

Note: Subsection (a) (1) concerns buildings and other premises and subsection (a) (4) concerns public land.  Tailor the instruction accordingly.

The defendant is charged [in count __] with criminal trespass in the second degree.  The statute defining this offense reads in pertinent part as follows: 

a person is guilty of criminal trespass in the second degree when, knowing that (he/she) is not licensed or privileged to do so, (he/she) (enters / remains)1 (in a building / on public land).

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

Element 1 - Entered or remained
The first element is that the defendant (entered / remained) (in a building / on public land).

[<If trespass to a building is alleged:>  Ordinarily, "building" implies a structure that may be entered and used by human beings, as a residence or for business, or for other purposes involving occupancy by people, whether or not it is actually entered and used as such.  <Insert one or both of the following parts of the definition as appropriate:>

  • The law has expanded this definition to include, in addition to what we ordinarily know as a building, any watercraft, aircraft, trailer, sleeping car, railroad car, other structure or vehicle or any building with a valid certificate of occupancy.

  • The statutory definition also provides that where a building consists of separate units, such as, but not limited to separate apartments, offices or rented rooms, any unit not occupied by the defendant is, in addition to being a part of such building, a separate building.  In other words, any one of these separate units, separately secured or occupied, when intruded upon, may be considered a "building," plus the whole building is considered a "building" for purposes of any unlawful intrusion into any part of it.]

You must also determine whether the defendant unlawfully (entered / remained) (in the building / on public land).  A person unlawfully (enters / remains) (in a building / on public land) when (he/she) is not licensed or privileged to do so. To be "licensed or privileged," the defendant must either have consent from the person in possession of the (building / land) or have some other right to be (in the building / on the land).

[To "enter" a building the intruder need not necessarily place (his/her) entire body inside the building.  Inserting any part of (his/her) body, or an implement or weapon held by (him/her), within the building is sufficient to constitute an entry as long as it is without license or privilege.  It does not matter how an intruder may actually have entered; if (he/she) did so without license or privilege, (he/she) has entered unlawfully.]

[A person may have entered the (building / public land) lawfully, that is, (he/she) had the right or had been given permission, but that right is terminated or the permission withdrawn by someone who had a right to terminate or withdraw it.  You may find that the defendant "unlawfully remained" (in the building / on the land) under these circumstances.]

Element 2 - With knowledge
The second element is that the defendant knew that (he/she) was not licensed or privileged to do so.  A person acts "knowingly" with respect to conduct or circumstances when (he/she) is aware that (his/her) conduct is of such nature or that such circumstances exist.  <See Knowledge, Instruction 2.3-3.>


In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant (entered / remained) (in / on) <identify the building or public land>, and 2) (he/she) knew that (he/she) was not licensed or privileged to do so.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of criminal trespass in the second degree, 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.

1 Do not instruct on both "unlawful entering" and "unlawful remaining" if the information and the evidence could support a conceptual distinction between the two.  See "enters or remains unlawfully" in the glossary.


Criminal trespass in the second degree is a lesser included offense of burglary in the second degree with a firearm.  State v. White, 97 Conn. App. 763, 779, cert. denied, 280 Conn. 939 (2006).


Attorneys | Case Look-up | Courts | Directories | Educational Resources | E-Services | Español | FAQs | Juror Information | Media | Opinions | Opportunities | Self-Help | Home

Common Legal Words | Contact Us | Site Map | Website Policies and Disclaimers

Copyright © 2016, State of Connecticut Judicial Branch