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HINDERING ONES OWN APPREHENSION 2C:29‑3b) model jury charge

HINDERING ONES OWN APPREHENSION OR PROSECUTION

(N.J.S.A.2C:29‑3b)model jury charge

The defendant is charged with the offense of hinderinghis/herown apprehension or prosecution, in thathe/sheis alleged to have(summarize appropriate portions of indictment).

This charge is based upon a statute which provides that:

A person commits an offense if, with purpose to hinder his own detention, apprehension, investigation, prosecution, conviction or punishment for [an offense]OR[a violation of Title 39 of the New Jersey Statutes]OR[a violation of Chapter 33A of Title 17 of the Revised Statutes] he [refer to appropriate portion ofN.J.S.A. 2C:29-3b(1) thru (4)].

For you to find the defendant guilty, the State must prove each of the essential elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt.Those elements are:

(1)that the defendant knew thathe/shecould/might be charged with (offense);

(2)that the defendant(read appropriate subsection ofN.J.S.A. 2C:29-3b(1) to (4)); and

(3)that the defendant acted with purpose to hinderhis/herown detention, apprehension, investigation, prosecution, conviction, or punishment.

The first element that the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt is that the defendant must have known thathe/shecould/might be charged or was liable to be charged with (offense).[1]

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, orhe/sheis aware of a high probability of their existence.A person acts knowingly with respect to a result ofhis/herconduct ifhe/sheis aware that it is practically certain thathis/herconduct will cause such a result.Knowing, with knowledge, or equivalent terms have the same meaning.[2]

Knowledge is a condition of the mind.It cannot be seen.It can only be determined by inference from defendants 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/shedid a particular thing.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 ofhis/heracts and conduct and from allhe/shesaid and did at the particular time and place and from all surrounding circumstances established by the evidence.

The second element that the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt is that on (date), the defendant:

(1)(suppressed, by way of concealment or destruction, any evidence of the crime)OR(tampered with a document [or other source of information]), which (evidence, document, etc.) might aid inhis/herdiscovery or apprehension or in the lodging of a charge againsthim/her.

OR

(2)prevented or obstructed, by means of force or intimidation (name of person) from performing an act which might aid inhis/herdiscovery or apprehension or in the lodging of a charge againsthim/her.

OR

(3)prevented or obstructed, by means of force, intimidation or deception (name of witness or informant) from providing testimony or information which might aid inhis/herdiscovery or apprehension or in the lodging of a charge againsthim/her.

OR

(4)gave[3]false information to

(A)a law enforcement officer.A law enforcement officer is 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.[4]

OR

(B)a civil State Investigator assigned to the Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor.

The third element that the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt is that the defendant acted with the purpose of hinderinghis/herdetention, apprehension, investigation, prosecution, conviction or punishment for (offense).

A person acts purposely with respect to the nature ofhis/herconduct or a result thereof if it ishis/herconscious object to engage in conduct of that nature or to cause such a result.A person acts purposely with respect to attendant circumstances ifhe/sheis aware of the existence of such circumstances orhe/shebelieves or hopes that they exist. Someone acts purposely ifhe/sheacts with design, with a purpose, with a particular objective in mind, ifhe/shereally means to do whathe/shedoes.With purpose, designed, with design, or equivalent terms have the same meaning.[5]

Purpose and knowledge are conditions of the mind which cannot be seen and can only be determined 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, members of the jury, 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 ofhis/heracts andhis/herconduct, and from allhe/shesaid and did at the particular time and place, and from all of the surrounding circumstances.

If after considering all of the evidence you conclude that the State has proven each of these elements beyond a reasonable doubt, then you must find the defendant guilty.On the other hand, if you find that the State has failed to prove any of these elements beyond a reasonable doubt, then you must find the defendant not guilty.



[1]UnlikeN.J.S.A.2C:28-5 (tampering), this statute does not require that defendant know or believe either that a charge has been made or is likely to be made; instead, it is addressed at the wrongfulavoidanceof an official action by attempting to prevent a witness from reporting a crime to the police.State v. D.A., 191N.J.158, 170 (2007) (emphasis added).Note that the degree of this crime depends upon whether the offense that the defendant had been or was likely to be charged with would have constituted a crime of the second degree or greater, a crime of the third degree, or a crime of the fourth degree or less.Any issue regarding what degree of crime defendant knew that (he/she) had been or would likely be charged with must be submitted to the jury, along with definitions of the elements of the crimes or offenses that the issue of knowledge entails.

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

[3]Prior to the enactment ofP.L.1999,c.297 (December 23, 1999), this subsection read volunteered false information . . . , which was read to mean taking the initiative in furnishing false information, rather than simply providing such information in response to questioning.State v. Valentin, 105N.J.14 (1987).

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

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


Kenneth Vercammen was the Middlesex County Bar Municipal Court Attorney of the Year
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Kenneth Vercammen was the NJ State Bar Municipal Court Attorney of the Year and past president of the Middlesex County Municipal Prosecutors Association.

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