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Criminal Jury Instructions

Criminal Jury Instructions Home

9.5-12  Criminal Trover in the First Degree -- § 53a-126a

Revised to December 1, 2007 (modified June 13, 2008)

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

a person is guilty of criminal trover in the first degree when (he/she) forcibly enters or forcibly removes the ignition of the motor vehicle of another and uses the motor vehicle without the consent of such owner, and such use results in damage to or diminishes the value of such motor vehicle or subjects such owner to economic loss, fine or other penalty.

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

Element 1 - Forcibly entered or removed the ignition of a motor vehicle
The first element is that the defendant forcibly (entered / removed the ignition of) a motor vehicle of another.  A motor vehicle has its ordinary meaning and includes <insert type of motor vehicle alleged>.

Element 2 - Used motor vehicle without consent of owner
The second element is that the defendant used the motor vehicle without the consent of the owner.  "Owner" means not only the true or lawful owner, but any person who has a superior right to that of the defendant.  A person does an act "without consent of another person" when (he/she) lacks such other person's agreement or assent to engage in the act. 

Element 3 - Damage to vehicle or other economic loss
The third element is that the defendant's use of the motor vehicle without the owner's consent

  • resulted in damage to or diminished the value of the motor vehicle.

  • subjected the owner of the vehicle to economic loss, fine or other penalty.

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant forcibly (entered / removed the ignition of) a motor vehicle of another, 2) (he/she) used the motor vehicle without the consent of the owner, and 3) <insert specific allegations regarding damages, loss, fine or penalty>.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of criminal trover 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.

Commentary

Subsequent offenders
General Statutes § 53a-126a (b) provides for an enhanced sentence if the defendant has previously been convicted of one or more violations of § 53a-126a.  Pursuant to Practice Book § 36-14, the prior conviction must be charged in a Part B information so that the jury is unaware of the prior conviction during the trial on the current charge. If a guilty verdict is returned, the jury must then be instructed on the second part of the information. See Subsequent Offenders, Instruction 2.12-2.
 


 

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