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Criminal Jury Instructions

Criminal Jury Instructions Home

8.6-1  Riot in the First Degree -- § 53a-175

Revised to December 1, 2007

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

a person is guilty of riot in the first degree when simultaneously with six or more other persons (he/she) engages in tumultuous and violent conduct and thereby (intentionally / recklessly) (causes / creates a grave risk of causing) public alarm, and in the course of and as a result of such conduct, (a person other than one of the participants suffers physical injury / substantial property damage occurs).

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

Element 1 - Tumultuous and violent conduct
The first element is that the defendant engaged in tumultuous and violent conduct1 that involved physical violence or portended imminent physical violence.  "Imminent" means impending or likely to occur immediately.

Element 2 - Six or more other persons
The second element is that (he/she) did so simultaneously with six or more other persons.

Element 3 - Intent
The third element is that the defendant

  • acted with the intent to (cause / create a grave risk of causing) public alarm.  A person acts "intentionally" with respect to a result when (his/her) conscious objective is to cause such result.  <See Intent: Specific, Instruction 2.3-1.>

  • recklessly (caused / created a grave risk of causing) public alarm.  A person acts "recklessly" with respect to a result or circumstances when (he/she) is aware of and consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that such result will occur or that such circumstances exist.  <See Recklessness, Instruction 2.3-4.>

"Alarm" means a fear caused by the sudden realization of danger. "Public alarm" is when such a fear is created in a public area and affects a large number of people in that area.

Element 4 - Injury / property damage
The fourth element is that in the course of and as a result of such conduct, (a person other than one of the participants suffered physical injury / substantial property damage occurred).  <Insert appropriate definition:>

  • "Physical injury" means impairment of physical condition or pain.

  • "Substantial" means that the property damage caused must be something more than trivial or inconsequential as we consider such estimates in our ordinary experiences in life.

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1)  that the defendant engaged in tumultuous and violent conduct, 2) (he/she) did so simultaneously with six or more other persons, 3) (he/she) (intentionally / recklessly) (caused / created a grave risk of causing) public alarm, and 4) (a person other than one of the participants suffered physical injury / substantial property damage occurred).

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of riot in the first 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.
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1 In State v. Indrisano, 228 Conn. 795, 811-12 (1994), a case that involved the disorderly conduct statute, § 53a-182 (a), the court construed the phrase "[e]ngages in fighting or in violent, tumultuous or threatening behavior" to refer to physical action.  See Disorderly Conduct, Instruction 8.4-8.
 


 

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