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2C:12-1b(11)) Model Jury charge

AGGRAVATED ASSAULT - USE OF LASER SIGHTING SYSTEM ORDEVICE AGAINST LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER

(N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(11))Model Jury charge

Count __________ of the indictment charges the defendant with aggravated assault by use of a laser sighting system or device against a law enforcement officer.

(Read Count of Indictment)

The defendant is accused of violating a law that provides as follows:

A person is guilty of aggravated assault if he [u]ses or activates a laser sighting system or device, or a system or device which, in the manner used, would cause a reasonable person to believe that it is a laser sighting system or device, against a law enforcement officer acting in the performance of his duties while in uniform or exhibiting evidence of his authority.

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

1.that the defendant knowingly used or activated a laser sighting system or device, or a device which, in the manner used, would cause a reasonable person to believe that it is a laser sighting system or device; and

2.that the defendant knowingly used the laser sighting system or device, or a system or device which, in the manner used, would cause a reasonable person to believe that it is a laser sighting system or device, against a person whohe/sheknew was a law enforcement officer acting in the performance of his/her duties while in uniform or exhibiting evidence of his/her authority.

The first element that the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt is that defendant knowingly used or activated a laser sighting system or device, or a device which, in the manner used, would cause a reasonable person to believe that it is a laser sighting system or device.

A person acts knowingly with respect to the nature ofhis/herconduct or the attendant circumstances ifhe/sheis aware thathis/herconduct is of that nature or that such circumstances exist or ifhe/sheis aware of a high probability of their existence.A person acts knowingly with respect to the result ofhis/herconduct ifhe/sheis aware that it is practically certain thathis/herconduct will cause such a result.

Knowledge is a condition of the mind that cannot be seen and that can be determined only by inferences from conduct, words or acts.A state of mind is rarely susceptible of direct proof but must ordinarily be inferred from the facts.Therefore, it is not necessary that the State produce witnesses to testify that an accused said thathe/shehad a certain state of mind whenhe/sheengaged in a particular act.It is within your power to find that such proof has been furnished beyond a reasonable doubt by inference, which may arise from the nature of the defendants acts and conduct, from all thathe/shesaid and did at the particular time and place, and from all surrounding circumstances.

A laser sighting system or device means any system or device that is integrated with or affixed to a firearm and emits a laser light beam that is used to assist in the sight alignment or aiming of the firearm.[1]A laser sighting system or device also includes a system or device which, in the manner used, would cause a reasonable person to believe that it is a laser sighting system or device.


[CHARGE IF APPROPRIATE]The term firearm also includes devices in the nature of an air gun, spring gun or pistol or other weapon of a similar nature in which the propelling force is a spring, elastic band, carbon dioxide, compressed or other gas or vapor, air or compressed air, or is ignited by compressed air, and ejecting a bullet or missile smaller than three-eighths of an inch in diameter, with sufficient force to injure a person.

A firearm means any handgun, rifle, shotgun, machine gun, automatic or semi-automatic rifle, or any gun, device or instrument in the nature of a weapon from which may be fired or ejected any solid projectable ball, slug, pellet, missile or bullet, or any gas, vapor or other noxious thing, by means of a cartridge or shell or by the action of an explosive or the igniting of flammable or explosive substances.[2]

The second element that the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt is that thedefendantknowinglyused a laser sighting system or device or a system or device which, in the manner used, would cause a reasonable person to believe that it is a laser sighting system or device against a person whomhe/sheknew was a law enforcement officer acting in the performance of his/her duties while in uniform or exhibiting evidence of his/her authority.

Law enforcement officer means a person whose public duties include the power to act as an officer for the detection, apprehension, arrest and conviction of offenders against the laws of this state.[3]

If you find that the State has proven all the elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt, then you must find defendant guilty.If, however, you find that the State has failed to prove any of these elements beyond a reasonable doubt, then you must find defendant not guilty.



[1]N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(11).

[2]Handgun means any pistol, revolver or other firearm originally designed or manufactured to be fired by the use of a single hand.N.J.S.A. 2C:39-1k. The handgun need not be presently operable.State v. Gantt, 101N.J. 573 (1986).

[3]N.J.S.A. 2C:25-19c.


Kenneth Vercammen was the Middlesex County Bar Municipal Court Attorney of the Year

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