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Criminal Jury Instructions

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9.1-23  Larceny by Theft of Utility Service -- 53a-119 (15) and 53a-122 through 53a-125b

Revised to April 23, 2010

Note:  The degree of the larceny is determined by the value of the property stolen.  See 53a-122 (first degree); 53a-123 (second degree); 53a-124 (third degree); 53a-125 (fourth degree); 53a-125a (fifth degree); 53a-125b (sixth degree). The dollar amounts for the degrees of larceny were increased as of October 1, 2009.  See the table in Introduction to Larceny for the values in effect prior to that date.

The defendant is charged [in count __] with larceny by theft of utility service in the (first / second / third / fourth / fifth / sixth) degree.  The statute defining this offense reads in pertinent part as follows: 

a person is guilty of theft of utility service when (he/she) intentionally obtains (electric / gas / water / telecommunications / wireless radio communications / community antenna television service) that is available only for compensation  <insert appropriate subsection:>

  • 53a-119 (15) (A):  by deception or threat or by false token, slug or other means including, but not limited to, electronic or mechanical device or unauthorized use of a confidential identification or authorization code or through fraudulent statements, to avoid payment for the service by (himself/herself) or another person.

  • 53a-119 (15) (B):  by tampering or making connection with or disconnecting the meter, pipe, cable, conduit, conductor, attachment or other equipment or by manufacturing, modifying, altering, programming, reprogramming or possessing any device, software or equipment or part or component thereof or by disguising the identity or identification numbers of any device or equipment utilized by a supplier of electric, gas, water, telecommunications, wireless radio communications or community antenna television service, without the consent of such supplier, in order to avoid payment for the service by (himself/herself) or another person.

  • 53a-119 (15) (C):  with intent to avoid payment by (himself/herself) or another person for a prospective or already rendered service the charge or compensation for which is measured by a meter or other mechanical measuring device provided by the supplier of the service, by tampering with such meter or device or by attempting in any manner to prevent such meter or device from performing its measuring function, without the consent of the supplier of the service.

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

Element 1 - Obtained utility service
The first element is that the defendant intentionally obtained (electric / gas / water / telecommunications / wireless radio communications / community antenna television service) that is available only for compensation.  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.>

[<Insert if applicable:>  The statute defining the offense of theft of utility service provides that certain evidence, if believed, may be sufficient to establish intent.  If you find that <insert as appropriate:>

  • any meter, pipe, cable, conduit, conductor, attachment or other equipment has been tampered with or connected or disconnected,

  • any device, software or equipment or part or component thereof has been modified, altered, programmed, reprogrammed or possessed,

  • the identity or identification numbers of any device or equipment utilized by the supplier of the service have been disguised,

  • a meter or other mechanical measuring device provided by the supplier of the service has been tampered with or prevented from performing its measuring function,

without the consent of the supplier of the service, you may then find, but are not required to, that the person to whom the service is billed has the intent to obtain the service and to avoid making payment for the service.1]

Element 2 - Means
The second element is that the defendant obtained such services by means of <insert specific allegations and reread the relevant portion of the statute>.

Element 3 - Larcenous Intent
The third element is that at the time the defendant obtained the services, (he/she) intended to avoid payment for such services.  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.>

Element 4 - Value
The fourth element is that the services allegedly stolen had a value that <insert as appropriate:>

First degree:  exceeded $20,000.
Second degree:  exceeded $10,000.
Third degree:  exceeded $2,000.
Fourth degree:  exceeded $1,000.
Fifth degree:  exceeded $500.
Sixth degree:  did not exceed $500.

<See Larceny, Instruction 9.1-1, for a full explanation of this element.>

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant 1) intentionally obtained (electric / gas / water / telecommunications / wireless radio communications / community antenna television service) that is available only for compensation, 2) (he/she) did so by means of <insert specific allegations>, 3) (he/she) intended to avoid payment for the services, and 4) the value of the services was <insert value according to degree charged>.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of larceny by theft of utility service, 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 The statute further provides that "[t]he presumption does not apply if the person to whose service the condition applies has received such service for less than thirty-one days or until the service supplier has made at least one meter or service reading and provided a billing statement to the person as to whose service the condition applies.  The presumption does not apply with respect to wireless radio communications."
 


 

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