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Criminal Jury Instructions

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9.1-30 Interfering or Tampering with a Motor Vehicle -- § 53a-119b (c) (2)

New, June 13, 2008

The defendant is charged [in count __] with interfering or tampering with a motor vehicle. The statute defining this offense reads in pertinent part as follows:

a person is guilty of interfering or tampering with a motor vehicle when, with intent and without right to do so, (he/she) damages any motor vehicle or damages or removes any of its parts or components.

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

Element 1 - Damage to motor vehicle
The first element is that the defendant damaged a motor vehicle or removed any of its parts or components. The motor vehicle must have been damaged in such a way as to diminish or lose its value. The motor vehicle is damaged if it sustained a decrease or loss in its value or utility in comparison with its previous condition.

Element 2 - Intent
The second element is that the defendant specifically intended to do damage to the motor vehicle. 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 3 - No authorization
The third element is that the defendant did not have the right or authorization to act as (he/she) did and had no reasonable ground to believe that (he/she) did. A "reasonable ground to believe" means that a reasonable person in the defendant's situation, viewing the circumstances from the defendant's point of view, would have shared that belief.

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant damaged a motor vehicle or removed any of its parts or components, 2) (he/she) intended to damage the motor vehicle, and 3) (he/she) had no right to do so.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of interfering or tampering with 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.

Commentary

Subsequent offenders
General Statutes § 53a-119b (d) provides for an enhanced sentence if the defendant has previously been convicted of one or more violations of § 53a-119b. 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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