History of the Connecticut Judicial Seal Home Home BannerBanner

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

   
Criminal Jury Instructions

Criminal Jury Instructions Home

4.3-2  Failure to Assist a Peace Officer, Special Policeman, Motor Vehicle Inspector, or Firefighter -- 53a-167b

Revised to December 1, 2007 (modified May 23, 2013)

The defendant is charged [in count ___] with failure to assist a (peace officer / special policeman / motor vehicle inspector / firefighter).  The statute defining this offense reads in pertinent part as follows: 

a person is guilty of failure to assist a (peace officer / special policeman / motor vehicle inspector / firefighter) when, commanded by a (peace officer / special policeman / motor vehicle inspector / firefighter) authorized to command assistance, such person refuses to assist such (peace officer / special policeman / inspector / firefighter) in the execution of (his/her) duties.

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

Element 1 - Assistance commanded by officer
The first element is that the defendant was commanded to assist a <insert type of officer>.1 This element requires that you find that <insert name of officer making command> was a <insert type of officer> and that (he/she) commanded rather than merely requested assistance. 

Element 2 - Officer authorized to command assistance
The second element is that the <insert name and/or title of officer> was authorized to command such assistance in the performance of (his/her) duties.

Element 3 - Assistance was necessary and reasonable
The third element is that such assistance was both demonstrably necessary and reasonable under all the circumstances.  In evaluating necessity and reasonableness, the following factors should be considered:  the urgency of the situation giving rise to a command for assistance; the availability of other trained law enforcement officers, rather than untrained civilians, to come to an officer's aid; the nature of the assistance sought; the appropriateness of commandeering the assistance of these individuals; the provocativeness of the situation in which aid is sought; the presence or threat of the use of weapons; and the risk of injury or death to the officer, to the individual being ordered to assist, and to any other parties present; and the reasonableness of the officer's actions in the underlying situation for which (he/she) sought assistance.2

Element 4 - Refused to assist
The fourth element is that the defendant refused to assist the <insert name and/or title of officer> in the execution of (his/her) duties as commanded.

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant was commanded to assist <insert type of officer>, 2) the <insert type of officer> was authorized to command such assistance, 3) the assistance was necessary and reasonable under all the circumstances, and 4) the defendant refused to assist the <insert type of officer>.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of failure to assist a (peace officer / motor vehicle inspector / special policeman / firefighter), 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 See definitions of peace officer and firefighter in the Glossary. A "special policeman" is appointed by the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection, pursuant to General Statutes 29-18b, to act in the special investigation section of the Department of Revenue Services and has all the powers of a state policeman. A "motor vehicle inspector" is appointed by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, pursuant to General Statutes 14-8, and has "the same authority to make arrests or issue citations for violation of any statute or regulation relating to motor vehicles and to enforce said statues and regulations as policemen or state policemen in their respective jurisdictions." Motor vehicle inspectors were added to this offense by Public Acts 2008, No. 08-150, 53, effective October 1, 2008.

2 State v. Floyd, 217 Conn. 73, 92-95 (1991) (adding the common-law element of necessity and reasonableness to save the statute from a facial constitutional challenge).
 


 

Attorneys | Case Look-up | Courts | Directories | Educational Resources | E-Services | Español | FAQs | Juror Information | Media | Opinions | Opportunities | Self-Help | Home

Common Legal Words | Contact Us | Site Map | Website Policies and Disclaimers

Copyright © 2014, State of Connecticut Judicial Branch