View Document – ​​Washington Criminal Jury Instructions (2023)


11A WAPRAC WPIC 70.02Washington Practice SeriesTMWashington Standard Jury Instructions - Criminal

11A Wash. Prac., Standard Jury Instr. crim. WPIC 70.02 (5th Edition)

Washington Practice SeriesTM

Washington Standard Jury Instructions - Criminal

December 2021 update

Washington State Supreme Court Jury Instruction Committee

Part IX. Crimes Against Property


WPIC 70.02 Theft—First Degree—Property Value—Elements

To convict the defendant of the crime of first degree larceny, each of the following four elements of the crime must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt:

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(1) that in the envelope(data), the accused

[(a) improperly obtained or exercised unauthorized control over the property [or services] of another [or the value thereof];] [or]

[(b) has obtained control over the goods [or services] of another [or the value thereof];] [or]

[(C) appropriated the lost or misdelivered goods [or services] [or the value thereof] of another person;]


(2) That the goods [or services] [obtained under the common regime or plan] exceed $5,000 in value;

(3) That the defendant intended to deprive the other person of goods [or services]; Is

(4) That this act [or any act] took place in the state of Washington.

If you discover from the evidence that items (2), (3), and (4) and any of the alternative items [(1)(a)] [(1)(b)] or [(1)(c )] have been proven beyond a reasonable doubt, then it will be your duty to deliver a guilty verdict. To return a guilty verdict, the jury need not be unanimous as to which of the alternatives [(1)(a)] [(1)(b)] or [(1)(c)] has been proven further. of a reasonable doubt. , provided that each juror considers that at least one alternative has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

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On the other hand, if, after weighing all the evidence, you have a reasonable doubt about any of the items (1), (2), (3), or (4), then it is your duty to enter a not guilty verdict.


Use this instruction for first degree robbery cases involving goods or services valued at more than $5,000. For first degree robbery cases involving property taken from another person, use WPIC 70.02.01 (Theft—First Degree—Taken from Another Person—Items) instead of this instruction. For cases involving theft of a firearm under RCW 9A.56.300, use WPIC 70.13 (Theft of a Firearm—Items) instead of this instruction. Use bracketed language in item (2) if the State has alleged multiple transactions based on a common scheme or plan.

The instruction is written for cases where the jury needs to be instructed in two or more of the alternatives for item (1). Care should be taken to limit alternatives to those that have been included in the billing document and are supported by sufficient evidence. For instructions on when and how to write instructions with alternative elements, see WPIC 4.20 (Introduction) and the Note on Use and Comments for WPIC 4.23 (Elements of Offense—Alternative Elements—Alternative Means of Committing a Single Offense—Form). For jury-related questions, see WPIC 190.09 (Special Verdict Form: Elements with Alternatives). For any case where substantial evidence supports only one of the alternatives in element (1), review the instruction to remove references to the unsupported alternative elements following the format set forth in WPIC 4.21 (Elements of Offense—Form).

With this statement, use WPIC 10.01 (Intent—Intentionally—Definition) and WPIC 79.20 (Value—Definition). As appropriate, also use WPIC 2.21 (Proprietary—Definition), WPIC 79.02 (Improperly Obtaining—Exerts Unauthorized Control—Definition), WPIC 79.03 (Aiding by Color or Deception—Definition), WPIC 79.04 (Deception—Definition), WPIC 79.05 ( Property lost or misdelivered goods or services—Definition) and WPIC 79.06 (Services—Definition).

Use WPIC 19.08 (Theft—Defense) with this statement if legal defense is an issue supported by evidence.

For a discussion of the phrase “this act” in element (4), see WPIC 4.20 (Introduction) and WPIC 4.21 Usage Note (Elements of Offense—Form).


RCW 9A.56.030(1)(a).

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Legal exception for firearms.For the alternative means that this instruction deals with, the diploma provides for an exception for firearms, but not for motor vehicles. The exception for motor vehicles only applies to the alternative for property taken from another person. Compare subsections (1)(a) and (1)(b) of RCW 9A.56.030.

Legal language other than that of firearms is not included in the above statement. The WPI Committee believes that this exclusion is not an essential element of the crime of first degree robbery. Theft of a firearm is a separate offense classified at a higher severity level than robbery in the first degree. See RCW 9.94A.515 (theft of a firearm is classified as Level VI; robbery in the first degree is classified as Level II). Since the firearms exception acts as a maximum liability limit for first degree robbery, the WPI Committee believes that the firearms exception is not an essential element, based on analogy with other statutory limits of criminal liability, as the phrase the statutory duty “does not exceed [specified] dollars in value.” See State v. Tinker, 155 Wn.2d 219, 118 P.3d 885 (2005); State v. Leyda, 157 Wn.2d 335, 138 P.3d 610 (2006) (The state is not required to prove that the stolen item is worth less than $250 in a third-degree theft lawsuit, RCW 9A.56.050.) Only if there is some likelihood of confusion, for example, if defendant is charged with first degree robbery and robbery with a firearm for separate items of property, statement must include exclusionary language Settlement State v. Ward, 148 Wn.2d 803, 64 P.3d 640 (2003); State v. Chino, 117 Wn.Ap.531, 72 P.3d 256 (2003) (in prosecution for criminal violation of an order of domestic violence based on assault, it is not necessary to include the legal language “this is not a first or second degree assault” unless the defendant is also charged with such a crime).

If the judge is satisfied that the firearms exception is an essential element, or if in a given case the court believes it would be more clear to the jury to include the statutory exclusion, element (2) of the statement may be modified to that says: "That the good [or services] exceeded $5,000 in value and was not a firearm." The definition of a firearm would be used in WPIC 2.10 (Firearm—Definition as Item).

Legal defense.RCW 9A.56.020 establishes a defense to a charge of theft if the property or service was openly and reportedly appropriated pursuant to a bona fide title claim. For a more detailed discussion of this defense, see the Comment to WPIC 19.08 (Theft - Defense).

types of theftIn the past, cases recognized four different types of theft: burglary, embezzlement theft, mistaken burglary, and burglary of lost or mishandled property. See State v. Southard, 49 Wn. Application. 59, 741 P.2d 78 (1987); State vs. Vargas, 37 Wn. App. 780, 683 P.2d 234 (1984). The different types of theft, however, do not constitute alternative means. See State v. Linehan, 147 Wn.2d 638, 56 P.3d 542 (2002). Under prior common law, usurpation theft differed from the other three types of theft in that it required an intent to permanent deprivation and it required a trespass. However, these separate requirements for cat theft no longer apply under the current statute. See State v. Komok, 113 Wn.2d 810, 783 P.2d 1061 (1989) (theft for the sake of theft no longer requires permanent deprivation intent); State vs. Trepanier, 71 Wn. App. 372, 380, 858 P.2d 511 (1993) (same scan asKomok); State vs. Smith, 115 Wn.2d 434, 798 P.2d 1146 (1990) (theft by appropriation no longer requires trespass); State vs. Crittenden, 146 Wn.Application. 361, 189 P.3d 849 (2008) (same ownership asKomok).

Property of another - Superior possessory interest.The legal definition of theft refers to “third party goods or services”. See RCW 9A.56.020(1)(a). Constituting property of another:

an item must be one in which another person has an interest, and the defendant cannot legally exercise control over the item without that other person's permission. Even when a person has legal title to an item, theft can occur if that person takes the item from someone else who has a superior ownership interest.

State vs. Stevedores, 97 Wn. Application. 144, 149, 982 P.2d 1191 (1999) (internal citations omitted), stated, 141 Wn.2d 414, 5 P.3d 1256 (2000); see also State v. Mora, 110 Wn. App. 850, 857, 43 P.3d 38 (2002); see also State v. Pink, 160 Wn.Application. 29, 246 P.3d 1277 (2011), reversed for other reasons, 175 Wn.2d 10, 282 P.3d 1087 (2012).

In State v. Pike, 118 Wn.2d 585, 826 P.2d 152 (1992), defendant was convicted of second degree robbery for taking his own vehicle from a mechanic without paying for repairs. The Supreme Court reversed the conviction, holding that the mechanic did not have a greater possessory interest in the vehicle than the defendant and that the defendant's failure to pay a contractual obligation was insufficient to support the conviction. See also State v. Lau, 174 Wn. App. 857, 300 P.3d 838 (2013) (defendant who evaded gambling tax by failing to report gambling receipts could not be prosecuted for theft because city had no property right to proceeds).

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Meaning of "deprive".Except in cases related to intellectual property, the word "deprive" is given in its ordinary meaning. State vs. Miller, 92 Wn.Application. 693, 964 P.2d 1196 (1998). See also State v. Cuthbert, 154 Wn. App. 318, 225 P.3d 407 (2010).

Value knowledge.The attempted robbery in the first degree does not include knowledge of the value of the object of the theft as an element. State vs. Delmarter, 94 Wn.2d 634, 618 P.2d 99 (1980).

Aggregation of multiple acts—Scheme or common plan.Pursuant to RCW 9A.56.010(21) and common law, multiple acts of theft can accumulate into a single charge if they are part of a common scheme or criminal episode. State vs. Farnworth, 192 Wn.2d 468, 430 P.3d 1127 (2018). See WPIC Comment 79.20 (Value—Definition).

In the case of aggregate thefts, the conviction must include the scheme or common plan as an element. State vs. Garman, 100 Wn.Application. 307, 314-15, 984 P.2d 453 (1999); State vs. Farnworth, 199 Wn App 185, 398 P.3d 1172 (2017), reversed for other reasons, State v. Farnworth, 192 Wn.2d 468, 430 P.3d 1127 (2018).

The phrase "common scheme or plan" does not need to be defined in the jury instructions. State vs. Reid, 74 Wn. App. 281, 292, 872 P.2d 1135 (1994).

Various robberies in the first degree.A separate statute, RCW 9.91.170(6), provides that improperly obtaining or exercising unauthorized control over a guide dog or service animal constitutes first degree theft. Other theft statutes will also require the completion of a declaration of elements. Specific definitions apply to these crimes.

[Current as of January 2019.]

Westlaw. © 2021 Thomson Reuters. No claim to Orig. Works of the United States government.

end of document


What happens if you don't respond to jury duty questionnaire WA? ›

Pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure Section 209, any prospective juror who has been summoned for service, and who fails to respond as directed and be excused from attendance, may be found in contempt of court, punishable by fine ($1,500), incarceration (5 days) or both.

How can I improve my voir dire? ›

Frederick provided 11 tips on how to effectively conduct voir dire:
  1. Adopt the proper orientation. ...
  2. Set the stage for jurors. ...
  3. Get them talking. ...
  4. Ask open-ended questions. ...
  5. Avoid the Socially Desirable Response Bias. ...
  6. Focus on difficulty vs. ...
  7. Use alternative route to uncover bias. ...
  8. Design questions using “bad” answers.

What questions do they ask in voir dire? ›

Each voir dire begins with questions about the jurors' background and case-related experiences, and builds toward more sensitive questions about jurors' attitudes toward your client and the key issues in your case.

What happens if you forget to call for jury duty in Washington state? ›

What happens if I don't report for jury duty? Failure to appear is a misdemeanor pursuant to RCW 2.36. 170. If you do not report on your scheduled date, you will receive a notice indicating you have failed to appear and that it is a misdemeanor and you may be held in contempt of Court.

What's a good excuse to not go to jury duty? ›

| Other Jury Duty Excuses in California

extreme financial burden. undue risk to physical property. mental or physical impairment for those over 70. no alternate care for another.

How many times can you postpone jury duty in WA? ›

You may postpone only ONE time up to 6 months from the date you have been selected to serve Jury Duty.

What happens if a juror lies during voir dire? ›

Therefore, if the record reflects that the juror lied or omitted information for a purpose other than to conceal bias or prejudice against the defendant, then the movant's claim will fail. Actual bias is defined as bias-in-fact which would prevent a juror from serving impartially.

How do you survive voir dire? ›

You must appear neutral and fair to both sides to be seated. However, you may not lie during voir dire. Lying may constitute perjury or obstruction of justice - felony offenses. The clue to survival is to give neutral but truthful answers.

How successful is voir dire? ›

Because 80 percent of jurors have reached a verdict by the end of voir dire, attorneys should carefully prepare for voir dire through case analysis, attitude surveys, mock trials, question formulations, and plans for favorably impressing jurors.

Who question the potential jurors during the voir dire process? ›

French for "to speak the truth." The process through which potential jurors from the venire are questioned by either the judge or a lawyer to determine their suitability for jury service.

Does voir dire mean speak the truth? ›

Voir dire, meaning “to speak the truth”[i], is an ancient practice for assessing jurors' potential partiality. In the 1760s, William Blackstone discussed voir dire in his Commentaries[ii] and described the right to challenge jurors “propter affectum[iii], for suspicion of bias or partiality”.

WHO MAY asks questions of potential jurors during voir dire? ›

Section 223, pertaining to voir dire in criminal trials, provides for an initial examination of pro- spective jurors by the judge. Thereafter, counsel may question prospective jurors directly, but the court retains broad discretion to limit the amount of time allotted for lawyer-conducted voir dire.

What is the oldest age for jury duty? ›

What Is the Jury Duty Age Limit?
  • Age 65 (Mississippi and South Carolina)
  • Age 70 (Alabama, Alaska, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia)
Feb 6, 2023

Who can and Cannot be called on to serve on a jury in WA? ›

People aged 18 to 74 years, who are listed on the electoral roll within each jury district, are eligible to serve on a jury. People with serious criminal convictions are not eligible. If selected for jury service you will receive a summons issued by a court.

How often can you be summoned for jury duty? ›

There is no limit to the number of times that you may serve in a lifetime. However, you are only obligated to serve jury duty once every 12 months. Jurors who are selected and sworn as trial jurors or alternates will be excused from serving again for 36 months, upon request.

Can you refuse jury duty? ›

Avoiding it, however, is ill advised: you cannot simply refuse and it is a criminal offence to not answer a jury summons without reasonable cause. You may, however, be able to defer (or possibly be excused) if you've served in the last two years or have a good reason.

How can I avoid doing jury service? ›

Who doesn't need to perform jury duty? If you've been to prison within the last 10 years, you're exempt from being called to serve on a jury. You can also be excused if you suffer/have suffered from a serious mental illness.

What happens if you miss jury duty the first time? ›

If you ignore the first summons, you will likely receive a second summons with a new court date. If you miss the second summons, you may be subject to fines.

How close to jury duty can you postpone? ›

You may postpone your jury service two times within one year from your initial report date.

What happens if a jury is hung twice? ›

What Happens If a Jury Is Hung Twice? Generally, it is rare for a hung jury to occur, let alone occur twice for the same proceeding. Often, juries will report that they are deadlocked after only deliberating for a short period of time. If there is a hung jury, the judge may order the jurors to deliberate further.

How do I defer jury duty in WA? ›

If you wish to defer your jury service, you will need to complete a statutory declaration form, located on the back of the summons. You must state your reason/s for deferral of jury service.

What stage does a voir dire occur? ›

It is typically held during a trial but is considered a separate hearing from the trial itself. It is known as a "trial within a trial" and designed to determine an issue separate from the trial on matters of procedure or admissibility of evidence.

Can a jury ignore a directed verdict? ›

At the outset of all trials, juries promise to “faithfully try the defendant and give a true verdict according to the evidence”. Once a verdict has been reached, the jury are not required or indeed permitted to give a reason in court for how that verdict was reached.

What is a voir dire decision? ›

A voir dire is a separate hearing in which the trier of law determines whether evidence is admissible and can potentially be entered into evidence in the trial. A voir dire can also be convened to determine the competence of a witness or to determine whether an expert witness is qualified to give evidence.

Why do lawyers challenge jurors? ›

Defence lawyers argue that peremptory challenges are one of the fundamental safeguards against a jury that is, or is perceived to be, biased, and that challenges allow the accused to feel involved in choosing the type of people who will judge them.

How do you take notes in voir dire? ›

Here's how it works: Each time a juror answers a voir dire question and provides distinguishing information (meaning information individual to that juror — not part of a collective response), I write the juror's number down on the pad and a brief note about the answer they gave or my related observations.

What is the difference between voir dire and jury selection? ›

Voir dire is the process used by the parties to select a fair and impartial jury. During voir dire, the jury panel is questioned by both parties' lawyers. The questions are intended to help the lawyers in the jury selection process. After voir dire, the jury is selected from the panel.

What is proof of burden? ›

The burden of proof is a legal standard that requires parties to provide evidence to demonstrate that a claim is valid. Three levels of the burden of proof, "beyond a reasonable doubt," a "preponderance of the evidence," and "clear and convincing" determine the level of evidence required for a claim.

How does inadmissible evidence influence juror decision making? ›

The presence of inadmissible evidence did not affect jurors' evaluations of the strength of admissible evidence. The reason for asymmetry regarding effects of evidence supporting conviction and evidence supporting acquittal was not known.

What are the 3 verdicts? ›

Thus, in effect, the judge or jury would have three choices - guilty, not proven, and not guilty.

Do alternate jurors know they are alternates? ›

What are alternate jurors? During the criminal trial, alternate jurors will be indistinguishable from their peers. In fact, they won't even know they are alternates. The judge won't reveal who the alternative jurors are until attorneys have finished making their cases.

How many jurors must agree in order to reach a verdict? ›

The jury are asked by the judge to reach a unanimous verdict - that means, they should all agree on whether the defendant is 'guilty' or 'not guilty'. If they can't do that after carefully considering and discussing the evidence, the judge can allow them to reach a majority verdict of at least 10 people.

How do jurors get selected? ›

Each district court randomly selects citizens' names from lists of registered voters and people with drivers licenses who live in that district. The people randomly selected complete a questionnaire to help determine if they are qualified to serve on a jury.

What is the decision that the jury makes after deliberations called? ›

Verdict: The official decision or finding of the jury which is reported to the court.

What is the difference between the voir dire and the venire? ›

Journey Through Justice. The process of selecting a jury is called “voir dire” and is a part of the regular jury trial process. Approximately 20 people serve on the jury or venire (group of prospective jurors from which the jury will be chosen).

Why is it called voir dire? ›

Voir dire (/ˈvwɑːr dɪər/; often /vɔɪr daɪər/; from an Anglo-Norman phrase meaning "to speak the truth") is a legal phrase for a variety of procedures connected with jury trials. It originally referred to an oath taken by jurors to tell the truth (Latin: verum dicere).

Is voir dire random? ›

The voir dire process

Potential jurors are randomly selected from a pool of people who show up for jury duty. The judge asks standard questions to ensure that everyone is capable of serving on a jury (they're a U.S. citizen, don't have any hardships that would prevent them from sitting through the entire trial, etc.).

Who determines the guilt in a criminal trial what about the sentence? ›

After being charged, the jury deliberates, the process of deciding whether a defendant is guilty or not guilty. During this process, no one associated with the trial can contact the jury without the judge and lawyers.

What does it mean to take a witness on voir dire? ›

Voir dire is the procedure by which an expert witness is qualified. This consists of both a direct examination by the person offering the witness as an expert and a cross-examination.

What disqualifies you from jury duty? ›

There are three groups that are exempt from federal jury service: members of the armed forces on active duty; members of professional fire and police departments; and. "public officers" of federal, state or local governments, who are actively engaged full-time in the performance of public duties.

What is the best excuse for jury duty? ›

Requesting an Excuse
  • Prior Jury Service. This excuse is for those people who have actually heard testimony. ...
  • Physical or Mental Disability. You must fully explain your situation on the questionnaire. ...
  • Child Care / Care of a Dependent. ...
  • Language. ...
  • Distance. ...
  • Financial / Business / Employment Hardship.

Do over 70s have to do jury service? ›

There's no automatic exemption from jury service for being elderly. You can ask to be excluded when you're over 70.

What is the primary goal of voir dire? ›

Voir dire is the process used by the parties to select a fair and impartial jury. During voir dire, the jury panel is questioned by both parties' lawyers. The questions are intended to help the lawyers in the jury selection process.

What are two types of challenges an attorney can make during voir dire choose 2 answers? ›

After questioning prospective jurors, each side's attorney may challenge certain jurors using two types of challenges: "for cause" and "peremptory." By challenging a juror, the attorney is asking the judge to excuse that juror from the panel.

Why is voir dire important to both sides in a trial? ›

The Purpose of Voir Dire

The voir dire discloses prospective jurors who are unable to fulfill the obligations of a juror or who are not capable of undertaking an impartial evaluation of the evidence and application of the relevant legal rules. Such disclo- sure leads to excusal of jurors for cause.

What are two types of challenges an attorney can make during voir dire quizlet? ›

The attorneys may challenge some jurors and ask the Court to excuse them from the trial. There are two types of challenges; challenge for cause and peremptory challenge.

What is the six pack method jury selection? ›

b. Method of jury selection. The Court uses the “six-pack” method of jury selection, calling eighteen prospective jurors to fill the jury box. The Judge and the attorneys examine all eighteen, and then the Judge will entertain challenges for cause to any of the jurors.


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