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Criminal Jury Instructions

Criminal Jury Instructions Home

9.1-18  Larceny by Conversion of a Motor Vehicle -- 53a-119 (10) 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 conversion of a motor vehicle 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 conversion of a motor vehicle who, after renting or leasing a motor vehicle under an agreement in writing which provides for the return of such vehicle to a particular place at a particular time, fails to return the vehicle to such place within the time specified, and who thereafter fails to return such vehicle to the agreed place or to any other place of business of the lessor within one hundred twenty hours after the lessor shall have sent a written demand to (him/her) for the return of the vehicle by registered mail addressed to (him/her) at (his/her) address as shown in the written agreement or, in the absence of such address, to (his/her) last-known address as recorded in the records of the motor vehicle department of the state in which (he/she) is licensed to operate a motor vehicle.

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

Element 1 - Rented or leased a motor vehicle
The first element is that the defendant (rented / leased) a motor vehicle.  <Review the evidence of the written lease and re-read or paraphrase the statutory language regarding same.>

Element 2 - Failed to return the motor vehicle
The second element is that the defendant failed to return the motor vehicle at the agreed upon time and within 120 hours after <insert name of lessor> sent a written demand for the return of the vehicle.  <Review the evidence of the demand letter.>

Element 3 - Intent
The third element is that the defendant intended to convert the vehicle to (his/her) own use.  "Conversion" is an unauthorized assumption and exercise of the right of ownership over goods belonging to another, to the exclusion of the owner's rights.  Even when a person's possession of the property was at first rightful, retention of that property can become an unlawful conversion.  "(His/Her) own use" would include selling, transferring or giving the property to another.

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 motor vehicle 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 1) the defendant (rented / leased) a motor vehicle, 2) (he/she) failed to return the vehicle, 3) (he/she) intended to convert the vehicle to (his/her) own use, and 4) the value of the motor vehicle 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 conversion of a motor vehicle, 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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