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Interfere with police dog 2C:29-3.1(d) model jury charge

INTERFERING WITH A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER

USING AN ANIMAL - LESSER INCLUDED[1]

N.J.S.A.2C:29-3.1(d)model jury charge

If you find the defendant not guilty of (insert offense charged in the indictment), you must consider the lesser-included offense of interfering with a law enforcement officer using an animal.

The applicable statute provides, in pertinent part, that:

Any person who interferes with any law enforcement officer using an animal in the performance of his official duties . . .

commits an offense.

In order for you to find the defendant guilty, the State must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

1.thatwas a law enforcement officer using an animal in the performance of (his/her) official duties;

2.that the defendant knew thatwas a law enforcement officer using an animal in the performance of (his/her) official duties;

3.that the defendant interfered with; and

4.that the defendant knew thathe/shewas interfering with.

The first element that the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt is thatwas a law enforcement officer using an animal in the performance of (his/her) official duties.

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.[2]

The second element that the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt is that the defendant knew thatwas a law enforcement officer using an animal in the performance of (his/her) official duties.

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.Knowing, with knowledge, or equivalent terms have the same meaning.

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 a defendant 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 defendants acts and conduct, from all thathe/shesaid and did at the particular time and place, and from all surrounding circumstances.

The third element that the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt is that the defendant interfered with.Here, the State contends that the defendant (describe the conduct allegedly engaged in by the defendant).On the other hand, the defendant contends that (describe the defendants contentions).

The final element that the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt is that the defendant knew thathe/shewas interfering with.I have previously instructed you on the meaning of a knowing state of mind.

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


[1]This charge is intended for use in those situations in which this disorderly persons offense is a lesser-included offense of a crime charged in the indictment.

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


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