Florida's Criminal Jury Instructions Under Review

The Committee on Standard Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases is currently reviewing the following jury instructions because of recent legislation or case law:

  • Jury instructions for Aggravated Fleeing and Eluding (Instruction 28.82, 28.84). See Dorsett v. State, No. 4D11-1530 (Fla. 4th DCA January 30, 2013)(reversible error when judge rejected requested special instruction that "[a]ctual knowledge of the accident is an essential element of this crime, for one cannot “willfully” leave an accident without awareness that an accident has occurred" and that an element of the crime was that "the defendant knew that he was involved in an accident.").
  • Jury instruction for Leaving the Scene of a Crash with Injury or Death (Jury Instruction 28.4) –  See Dorsett v. State, No. 4D11-1530 (Fla. 4th DCA January 30, 2013).
  • Jury instruction for Boating Under the Influence of Alcohol or Chemical or Controlled Substances (Instruction 28.14 - 28.17). See State v. Davis, No. 2D12-1409 (Fla. 2nd DCA February 27, 2013)(finding that despite the definition of vessel the State was not required to prove that the boat was subject to a license tax in order to prove the crime of BUI).
  • Jury instructions for lesser-included offenses for controlled substances (Instruction 25.2 - 25.19). See Ewing v. State, No. 2D09-6020 (Fla. 2d DCA February 25, 2011)(trial court should have instructed jury on simple possession of methamphetamine as a necessary lesser-included offense of possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell even though  this lesser-included offense is not listed in the standard instructions as a necessary lesser-included offense).
  • Jury instructions for Failure to Register for Sexual Offenders and Sexual Predators (Instruction 11.14-11.14(g) and 11.15 – 11.15(k)). See Barnes v. State, 38 Fla. L. Weekly D487e (Fla. 1st DCA February 27, 2013).
  • Jury instruction for Self-defense (Instruction 3.6(f) and (g)). See Talley v. State, 38 Fla. L. Weekly D426a (Fla. 2nd DCA Feb. 22, 2013); Bassallo v. State, 46 So. 3d 1205 (Fla. 4th DCA November 10, 2010)(trial court abused its discretion in giving a self-defense instruction that indicated the defense applied only if the victim suffered an “injury,” when no injury occurred, which negated the theory of the defense).

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