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Criminal Jury Instructions

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9.5-3  Criminal Mischief in the First Degree -- § 53a-115 (a) (3)

Revised to December 1, 2007

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

a person is guilty of criminal mischief in the first degree when with intent to cause damage to any electronic monitoring equipment owned or leased by the state or its agent and required as a condition of (probation / conditional discharge / release / community release)1 and having no reasonable ground to believe that such person has a right to do so, such person damages such electronic monitoring equipment and thereby causes an interruption in its ability to function.

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

Element 1 - Damaged property
The first element is that the defendant damaged electronic monitoring equipment owned or leased by the state or its agent and required as a condition of (probation / conditional discharge / release / community release).

Element 2 - Caused interruption
The second element is that the defendant caused an interruption in the functioning of the electronic monitoring equipment.  To cause means to bring about or to be a substantial factor, from which the interruption follows as a natural, direct and immediate consequence.  The term "interruption" should be given its ordinary meaning.

Element 3 - Intent
The third element is that the defendant intended to damage the electronic monitoring equipment.  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 4 - No right
The fourth element is that the defendant had no reasonable ground to believe that (he/she) had a right to damage the property.  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 electronic monitoring equipment owned or leased by the state or its agent and required as a condition of (probation / conditional discharge / release / community release), 2) this damage caused an interruption in the functioning of the electronic monitoring equipment, 3) the defendant specifically intended to cause this interruption, and 4) (he/she) had no reasonable ground to believe that (he/she) had a right to damage the property.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of criminal mischief 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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1 For probation or conditional discharge, see § 53a-30; for release, see § 54-64a; for community release, see § 18-100c.
 


 

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