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Criminal Jury Instructions

Criminal Jury Instructions Home

6.4-3  Robbery in the Third Degree -- § 53a-133 and § 53a-136

Revised to December 1, 2007

The defendant is charged [in count __] with robbery in the third degree.  The statutes1 defining this offense read in pertinent part as follows: 

a person is guilty of robbery in the third degree when (he/she), in the course of committing a larceny, uses or threatens the immediate use of physical force upon another person for the purpose of: <insert appropriate subsection:>

  • § 53a-133 (1):  preventing or overcoming resistance to the taking of the property or to the retention thereof immediately after the taking.

  • § 53a-133 (2):  compelling the owner of such property or another person to deliver up the property or to engage in other conduct which aids in the commission of the larceny.

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

Element 1 - In the course of a larceny
The first element is that the defendant was committing a larceny.  Larceny is a separate offense, which has two elements.  The statute defining larceny reads in pertinent part as follows:  "A person commits larceny when, with intent to deprive another of property or to appropriate the same to (himself/herself) or a third person, (he/she) wrongfully takes, obtains or withholds such property from an owner."  Larceny simply means theft or stealing.

To prove that the defendant was committing larceny, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant wrongfully (took property/ obtained property / withheld property) from an owner, and 2) that at the time (he/she) intended to deprive the owner of the property or to appropriate such property to (himself/herself) or a third person.

<See Larceny, Instruction 9.1-1.>

Element 2 - Use of physical force
The third element is that the larceny was accomplished by the use or threatened use of physical force.  "Physical force" means the external physical power over the person, which can be effected by hand or foot or another part of the defendant's body applied to the other person's body or applied by an implement, projectile or weapon.  The gist of robbery, then, is the commission of larceny by the use of physical force or the threat of immediate use of physical force.  Physical force may take many forms.  If you find that no actual physical force was inflicted upon the other person, but the other person was threatened with physical force, you must also find, to return a verdict of guilty, that the defendant threatened the other person with the immediate use of physical force.

If you find that the defendant used physical force or threatened its immediate use in the course of committing a larceny, you must then determine whether such physical force was used or threatened for the purpose of <insert as appropriate:>2

  • preventing or overcoming resistance to the taking of property or to the retention of property immediately after the taking.

  • compelling the owner of the property or another person to deliver up the property or to engage in other conduct that aids in the commission of larceny.

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant was committing a larceny, and 2) that (he/she) (used physical force / threatened the use of physical force) against the owner of the property to obtain the property.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of robbery in the third 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.
_______________________________________________________

1 General Statutes § 53a-136 defines robbery in the third degree simply as "robbery as defined in section 53a-133."  This definition thus combines the two statutory definitions to avoid redundancy.

2 See State v. Williams, 202 Conn. 349, 361-65 (1987) (do not instruct on both subsections unless the evidence supports both).

Commentary

Sentence Enhancer
General Statutes § 53a-136a provides a sentence enhancement if the robbery involved a carjacking.  See Sentence enhancer: Carjacking in the Introduction to Robbery.
 


 

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