TX CPJC 36-10 Instruction—Deadly Force in Defense of Land

TX CPJC 36-10 Instruction—Deadly Force in Defense of Land

State: Texas

Criminal Pattern Jury Charges (Criminal Defenses) (2015)
Chapter 36. Defense of Property
CPJC 36-10 Instruction—Deadly Force in Defense of Land

[Insert instructions for underlying offense.]

If you all agree the state has proved, beyond a reasonable doubt, each of the [number] elements listed above, you must next consider whether the defendant’s use of force was made in defense of land.

Defense of One’s Own Land

You have heard evidence that, when the defendant [insert specific conduct constituting offense], he believed his use of force was necessary to defend land in his possession from what the defendant believed was a trespass on that land.

Relevant Statutes

A person’s use of deadly force against another that would otherwise constitute the crime of [offense] is not a criminal offense if the person reasonably believed—

1. the person was in lawful possession of land;

2. another person trespassed on that land;

3. the other was about to commit arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime;

4. the force used was immediately necessary to prevent the other’s imminent commission of arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime; and

5. either—

a. the land could not have been protected by any other means; or

b. the use of force other than deadly force to protect the land would have exposed the person or another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.

Burden of Proof

The defendant is not required to prove that defense of land applies to this case. Rather, the state must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that defense of land does not apply to the defendant’s conduct.

Definitions

Reasonable Belief

“Reasonable belief” means a belief that an ordinary and prudent person would have held in the same circumstances as the defendant.

Deadly Force

“Deadly force” means force that is intended or known by the person using it to cause death or serious bodily injury or force that in the manner of its use or intended use is capable of causing death or serious bodily injury.

Application of Law to Facts

If you have found that the state has proved the offense beyond a reasonable doubt, you must next decide whether the state has proved that the defendant’s conduct was not justified by defense of land.

To decide the issue of defense of land, you must determine whether the state has proved, beyond a reasonable doubt, at least one of the following elements. The elements are that—

1. the defendant did not reasonably believe he was in lawful possession of the land, specifically [specify land]; or

2. the defendant did not reasonably believe [name] was trespassing on that land; or

3. the defendant did not reasonably believe [name] was about to commit arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime; or

4. the defendant did not reasonably believe the force used was immediately necessary to prevent [name]’s imminent commission of arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime; or

5. the defendant did not reasonably believe either—

a. the land could not have been protected by any other means; or

b. the use of force other than deadly force to protect the land would have exposed the defendant or another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.

You must all agree that the state has proved, beyond a reasonable doubt, either element 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 listed above. You need not agree on which of these elements the state has proved.

If you find that the state has failed to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, either element 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 listed above, you must find the defendant “not guilty.”

If you all agree the state has proved, beyond a reasonable doubt, each of the elements of the offense of [insert specific offense], and you all agree the state has proved, beyond a reasonable doubt, either element 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 listed above, you must find the defendant “guilty.”

[Insert any other instructions raised by the evidence. Then continue with the verdict form found in CPJC 2.1, the general charge, in Texas Criminal Pattern Jury Charges—General, Evidentiary & Ancillary Instructions.]

By | 2017-12-10T13:11:49+00:00 December 10th, 2017|Comments Off on TX CPJC 36-10 Instruction—Deadly Force in Defense of Land