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Criminal Jury Instructions

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6.8-3  Criminal Violation of a Restraining Order -- § 53a-223b

Revised to December 1, 2007

The defendant is charged [in count __] with criminal violation of a restraining order.  The statute defining this offense reads in pertinent part as follows:

a person is guilty of criminal violation of a restraining order when <insert as appropriate:>

  • § 53a-223b (a) (1) (A):  a restraining order has been issued against such person,

  • § 53a-223b (a) (1) (B):  a foreign order of protection . . . has been issued against such person in a case involving the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against another,

and such person, having knowledge of the terms of the order  <insert as appropriate:>

  • § 53a-223b (a) (2) (A): does not stay away from a person or place in violation of the order.

  • § 53a-223b (a) (2) (B):  contacts a person in violation of the order.

  • § 53a-223b (a) (2) (C):  imposes any restraint upon the person or liberty of a person in violation of the order.

  • § 53a-223b (a) (2) (D):  threatens, harasses, assaults, molests, sexually assaults or attacks a person in violation of the order.

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

Element 1 - Restraining order
The first element is that a restraining order had been issued1 against the defendant.   <Review evidence of order and defendant's notice of it.>

[If the restraining order was issued by a state other than Connecticut, it must have been ordered in a case involving the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against another.]2

Element 2 - Knowledge of terms of order
The second element is that the defendant had knowledge of the terms of the order.  This means that the defendant must know of the conditions of the order.  A person acts "knowingly" with respect to a circumstance when (he/she) is aware that such circumstance exists.  <See Knowledge, Instruction 2.3-3.>

Element 3 - Violation
The third element is that the defendant violated a condition of that restraining order in that (he/she) <insert as appropriate:>

  • § 53a-223b (a) (2) (A):  did not stay away from a person or place in violation of the order.

  • § 53a-223b (a) (2) (B):  contacted a person in violation of the order.

  • § 53a-223b (a) (2) (C):  imposed a restraint upon the person or liberty of a person in violation of the order.  To restrain a person means to restrict a person's movement intentionally and unlawfully without the other person's consent.

  • § 53a-223b (a) (2) (D):  threatened, harassed, assaulted, molested, sexually assaulted or attacked a person in violation of the order.

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) a restraining had been issued against the defendant, and 2) the defendant violation a condition of that order by <insert specific allegations>.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of criminal violation of a restraining order, 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 Pursuant to General Statutes § 46b-15.

2 As defined in General Statutes § 46b-15a.

Commentary

The court should include in its instruction the specific condition(s) the state is charging the defendant with violating.  This should include the definition of the violation.  The court is cautioned to specifically tailor its instruction to the alleged condition violated.  The statutory definitions of certain offenses may provide a useful basis for this language. 

The four ways of violating the restraining order "denote separate and distinct conduct."  State v. Culver, 97 Conn. App. 332, 340, cert. denied, 280 Conn. 935 (2006) (defendant convicted of two counts of violation of a restraining order for the same course of conduct).

The validity of the underlying order is not a necessary element of the offense.  State v. Wright, 273 Conn. 418, 432 (2005); State v. Manns, 91 Conn. App. 827, 834, cert. denied, 276 Conn. 927 (2005).
 


 

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