Welcome to the Vermont Model Criminal Jury Instructions. The instructions are sponsored by the Vermont Bar Association.
Use the drop-down menus above or the search function below to find individual instructions and the accompanying reporter's notes.
In addition, clicking on the menu headers above will show a table of contents for that section, and there is also a master table of contents available. Long-time users of the instructions will find the master table of contents to be in the familiar format.
Search for an Instruction:
You may search for an instruction by using the name of the crime (e.g., kidnapping) or by using the statutory citation (e.g., 13 V.S.A. 2405 or, more simply, 2405). Note that the search software is simply reading the text on each page, and thus doesn't recognize "VSA" without the periods.
Author Archives: Michael Csere
Definition of “motor vehicle”
May 24, 2023: The Committee has modified the instructions for several Title 23 motor vehicle crimes to reflect the current statutory definition of “motor vehicle.” See 23 V.S.A. §§ 4(21), 1200(6); see also 2001, No. 91 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2001, … Continue reading
May 24, 2023: The Committee has modified the arson reporter’s note to clarify that, in the arson context, to act “maliciously” means to act intentionally and without legal justification, and does not necessarily require personal hate or ill will.
January 31, 2023: The Committee has revised the instructions and reporter’s note for unlawful trespass. There are now two alternative instructions for unlawful trespass to land depending on the type of notice charged (actual communication or signs/placards). Additionally, the reporter’s … Continue reading
January 31, 2023: To reflect recent statutory amendments, the Committee has: (1) revised the existing instruction for escape from furlough (CR28-187); (2) added a new instruction with an intent element for escape from furlough imposed pursuant to 28 V.S.A. § … Continue reading
Insanity and Diminished Capacity
January 26, 2023: The Committee has revised the reporter’s notes for the defenses of insanity and diminished capacity to include references to State v. Webster, 2017 VT 98, ¶ 20, 206 Vt. 178 and State v. Bourgoin, 2021 VT 15, ¶¶ … Continue reading
January 12, 2023: The Committee has updated the sexual assault instructions and reporter’s note in light of the legislature’s recent revision and reformulation of the sexual assault statutes, see 2021, No. 68 (eff. July 1, 2021), and the Supreme Court’s … Continue reading
Criminal Threatening and Hindering an Officer
March 8, 2022: The Committee has revised the reporter’s note for Criminal Threatening and added a new reporter’s note for Hindering an Officer in light of State v. Blanchard, 2021 VT 13.
Burden of Proof
February 9, 2022: The Committee has revised several reporter’s notes on the “Burden of Proof” page to incorporate references to State v. Redmond, 2020 VT 36, 212 Vt. 242 and State v. Blanchard, 2021 VT 13, ¶ 34.
Pro Se Defendants
February 9, 2022: The Committee has added a new instruction and reporter’s note for pro se defendants.
March 5, 2021: The Committee has revamped and expanded the reporter’s note for the hung jury (“Allen” ) charge. The expanded note incorporates discussion from State v. Rolls, 2020 VT 18, ¶¶ 13–20.