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Criminal Jury Instructions

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8.5-2  Falsely Reporting an Incident in the First Degree -- § 53a-180 (a) (2)

Revised to December 1, 2007

The defendant is charged [in count __] with falsely reporting an incident in the first degree.  The statute defining this offense reads in pertinent part as follows:

a person is guilty of falsely reporting an incident in the first degree when, knowing the information reported, conveyed or circulated to be false or baseless, such person reports, by word or action, to any (official or quasi-official agency / organization having the function of dealing with emergencies involving danger to life or property), an alleged occurrence or impending occurrence of a fire, explosion or other catastrophe or emergency which did not in fact occur or does not in fact exist.

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

Element 1 - Reported a fire, explosion, catastrophe or emergency
The first element is that the defendant, by word or action, reported an alleged occurrence or impending occurrence of a fire, explosion or other catastrophe or emergency.  Impending means about to happen.  <Insert specific allegations.>

Element 2 - To official agency
The second element is that the defendant made such report to an (official or quasi-official agency / organization having the function of dealing with emergencies involving danger to life or property).  "Official" means having public authority.  "Quasi-official" means having the appearance of public authority.

Element 3 - Report was false
The third element is that such occurrence or impending occurrence did not in fact exist or did not in fact occur.

Element 4 - Knowledge
The fourth element is that the defendant knew that the report was false or baseless.  "False" means not true.  "Baseless" means groundless, without any foundation in fact.  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 the defendant 1) reported an alleged occurrence or impending occurrence of a fire, explosion or other catastrophe or emergency, 2) the report was made to an (official or quasi-official agency / organization having the function of dealing with emergencies involving danger to life or property), 3) the occurrence or impending occurrence did not in fact exist or did not in fact occur, and 4) the defendant knew that the report was false or baseless.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of falsely reporting an incident in the first 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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