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Criminal Jury Instructions

Criminal Jury Instructions Home

8.1-1  Sale or Possession with Intent to Sell a Controlled Substance -- § 21a-277 (a) and (b)

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

The defendant is charged [in count __] with the illegal (sale / possession of with intent to sell) of <insert type of substance>.1  The statute defining this offense imposes penalties on any person who (sells to another person / possesses with the intent to sell to another person)2 any controlled substance, which includes <insert type of substance>.

For you to find the defendant guilty of this charge, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant knowingly (sold / possessed with the intent to sell) a controlled substance.  In this case, it is alleged that the substance was <insert type of substance>.

"Sale" is any form of delivery, which includes barter, exchange or gift, or offer therefor, and each such transaction made by any person whether as principal, proprietor, agent, servant or employee.

[<If possession with intent to sell is alleged:>  "Possession" means either actual possession or constructive possession.  Actual possession means actual physical possession, such as having the substance on one's person.  Constructive possession means having the substance in a place under one's dominion and control. 

Possession also requires that the defendant knew that (he/she) was in possession of the <insert type of substance>.  That is, that (he/she) was aware that (he/she) was in possession of it and was aware of its nature.  The state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant knew that (he/she) was in possession of <insert type of substance>.  <See Knowledge, Instruction 2.3-3.>

<If some form of constructive possession is alleged, see Possession, Instruction 2.11-1.>3

Conviction for possession of <insert type of substance> with the intent to sell requires proof of the specific intent to sell the <insert type of substance>.  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.>

You should consider all of the surrounding circumstances in determining whether the defendant had the intent to sell.4]   

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant (sold / possessed with the intent to sell) a controlled substance, specifically <insert type of substance>.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of (sale / possession with intent to sell) a controlled substance, 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 Subsection (a) prohibits the distribution of "a controlled substance which is a hallucinogenic substance other than marijuana, or a narcotic substance."  Subsection (b) prohibits the distribution of "any controlled substance, except a narcotic substance, or a hallucinogenic substance other than marijuana."  The difference between the two is in the punishment.  Thus, this statute covers the distribution of any controlled substance other than marijuana.

The court should indicate the specific substance(s) according to the allegations of the information.  See Defining the Controlled Substance in the Introduction to this section for applicable definitions.

Also, the parties may be willing to stipulate to the nature of the substance.  See Stipulations, Instruction 2.6-9.

2 See Drug Transactions in the Introduction to this section.

3 Ascertain from counsel what form of possession is alleged.  The definition should be narrowly tailored to the allegations.

4 See State v. Avila, 166 Conn. 569, 579-80 (1974) (the possession of a quantity of narcotics far greater than the amount a drug user would usually possess for his or her own use is sufficient to prove the intent to sell); State v. Brown, 90 Conn. App. 835, 840, cert. denied, 276 Conn. 901 (2005) (defendant's presence in area known for drug activity, his possession of cash and a cellular phone, and the packaging of the drugs were all indicia of the intent to sell); see also State v. Brown, 14 Conn. App. 605, 616-17, cert. denied, 208 Conn. 816 (1988) (evidence of intercepted phone conversations regarding drug sales was sufficient evidence to support a probable cause determination).

Commentary

Subsequent offenders
General Statutes § 21a-277 (a) and (b) provide for an enhanced sentence if the defendant has previously been convicted of one or more violations of § 21a-277.  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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