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Criminal Jury Instructions

Criminal Jury Instructions Home

9.4-4 Criminal Trespass in the Third Degree -- § 53a-109

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

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

a person is guilty of criminal trespass in the third degree when, knowing that (he/she) is not licensed or privileged to do so, (he/she) <insert appropriate subsection:>

  • § 53a-109 (a) (1): (enters / remains in) premises which are

    • posted in a manner prescribed by law or reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders.

    • fenced or otherwise enclosed in a manner designed to exclude intruders.

    • belong to the state and are appurtenant to any state institution.

  • § 53a-109 (a) (2): (enters / remains in) any premises for the purpose of hunting, trapping or fishing.

  • § 53a-109 (a) (3): (enters / remains on) public land which is

    • posted in a manner prescribed by law or reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders.

    • fenced or otherwise enclosed in a manner designed to exclude intruders.

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

Element 1 - Entered or remained1
The first element is that the defendant <insert as appropriate:>

  • § 53a-109 (a) (1): (entered / remained in) premises which are

    • posted in a manner prescribed by law or reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders.

    • fenced or otherwise enclosed in a manner designed to exclude intruders.

    • belong to the state and are appurtenant to any state institution.

  • § 53a-109 (a) (2): (entered / remained in) any premises for the purpose of hunting, trapping or fishing.

  • § 53a-109 (a) (3): (entered / remained on) public land which is

    • posted in a manner prescribed by law or reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders.

    • fenced or otherwise enclosed in a manner designed to exclude intruders.

You must also determine whether the defendant unlawfully (entered / remained on) the (premises / public land). A person unlawfully (enters / remains on) (premises / public land) when the (premises / public land), at the time, (are / is) not open to the public and the defendant is not licensed or privileged to do so. To be "licensed or privileged," the defendant must either have consent from the person in possession of the (premises / public land) or have some other right to be on the (premises / public land).

[A person may have entered the (premises / public land) lawfully, that is, (he/she) had the right or had been given permission, but that right is terminated or the permission withdrawn by someone who had a right to terminate or withdraw it. You may find that the defendant "unlawfully remained" on the (premises / the land) under these circumstances.]

Element 2 - With knowledge
The second element is that the defendant knew that (he/she) was not licensed or privileged to do so. A person acts "knowingly" with respect to conduct or circumstances when (he/she) is aware that (his/her) conduct is of such nature or that such circumstances exist. <See Knowledge, Instruction 2.3-3.>

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant (entered / remained on) <identify the premises or public land>, and 2) (he/she) knew that (he/she) was not licensed or privileged to do so.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of criminal trespass 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.
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1 Do not instruct on both "unlawful entering" and "unlawful remaining" if the information and the evidence could support a conceptual distinction between the two. See "enters or remains unlawfully" in the glossary.

Commentary

See generally State v. Ward, 83 Conn. App. 377, 395-98, cert. denied, 271 Conn. 902 (2004). "Trespass involves an intrusion upon another's interest in the exclusive possession of land." State v. Martin, 35 Conn. Sup. 555, 557 (1978) ("owner" does not mean title holder, but possessor). Opening property to the public does not alter its character as private property. The possessor of private property has "a right to determine whom to invite, the scope of the invitation and the circumstances under which the invitation was to be revoked." Id., 560. "[T]he statute does not demand that premises be completely enclosed to fall within its purview, but they must be enclosed sufficiently to exclude intruders, namely, those who purposefully enter the property despite having no legitimate reason to do so." State v. Robinson, 105 Conn. App. 179, 194, cert. granted in part, 286 Conn. 902 (2008).
 


 

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