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Criminal Jury Instructions

Criminal Jury Instructions Home

8.3-6  Illegal Sale or Possession of Master Car Key -- § 53-142a

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

The defendant is charged [in count __] with illegal (sale / possession) of a master car key.  The statute defining this offense imposes punishment on <insert as appropriate:>

  • any person who makes and sells to anyone other than a new car dealer, a person actually engaged in the trade of locksmith, a law enforcement agency, loan institution which finances the purchase of motor vehicles any motor vehicle master car key.

  • any person other than one engaged in the manufacture of such keys as a bona fide business or other than one to whom the sale of such a key is authorized by this section who has a motor vehicle master car key in (his/her) possession.

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

Element 1 - Sold or possessed a master car key
The first element is that the defendant (made and sold / possessed) a motor vehicle master car key.  A motor vehicle master car key is a key which can be used to open and operate multiple motor vehicles.  "Motor vehicle" has its ordinary meaning and includes an automobile.

 Element 2 - Not authorized
<Insert as appropriate:>

  • The second element is that the defendant sold the master car key to <insert name of purchaser> and that (person / agency) was not a new car dealer, a person actually engaged in the trade of locksmith, a law enforcement agency, or a loan institution which finances the purchase of motor vehicles. 

  • The second element is that at the time of such possession the defendant was not engaged in the manufacture of such keys as a bona fide business or was not a new car dealer licensed under Connecticut law or was not an person actually engaged in the trade of locksmith or was not a law enforcement agent or was not a loan institution that finances the purchase of motor vehicles. 

"Possession" means either actual possession or constructive possession.  Actual possession means actual physical possession, such as having the object on one's person.  Constructive possession means having the object in a place under one's dominion and control.  Possession also requires that the defendant knew that (he/she) was in possession of the master car key.  That is, that (he/she) was aware that (he/she) was in possession of it and was aware of its nature.  The state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant knew that (he/she) was in possession of the master car key.  <See Knowledge, Instruction 2.3-3.>  <See Possession, Instruction 2.11-1.

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant (made and sold / possessed) a motor vehicle master car key, and 2) the <insert as appropriate:>

  • purchaser was not a new car dealer, a person actually engaged in the trade of locksmith, a law enforcement agency, a loan institution which finances the purchase of motor vehicles.

  • the defendant was not engaged in the manufacture of such keys as a bona fide business or was not a new car dealer licensed under Connecticut law or was not a person actually engaged in the trade of locksmith or was not a law enforcement agent or was not a loan institution that finances the purchase of motor vehicles.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the (sale / possession) of a master car key, 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 § 53-142a provides for an enhanced sentence if the defendant has previously been convicted of one or more violations of § 53-142a.  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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