Revised 4/12/10 BURGLARY IN THE SECOND DEGREE (N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2b)
The indictment charges the defendant with committing the crime of burglary. The
indictment reads as follows: (Read Indictment)
The pertinent part of the statute on which this indictment is based reads as follows:
A person is guilty of burglary in the third degree if, with purpose to
commit an offense therein the person:
(1) Enters a (research facility) (structure), or a separately
secured or occupied portion thereof, unless the (research
facility) (structure) was at the time open to the public or the
person is licensed or privileged to enter; or
(2) Surreptitiously remains in a (research facility) (structure) or
a separately secured or occupied portion thereof knowing
that (he/she) is not licensed or privileged to do so.
That person is guilty of burglary in the second degree if, in the course of committing the
offense I just described to you, that person:
(1) Purposely, knowingly or recklessly inflicts, attempts to
inflict or threatens to inflict bodily injury on anyone; or
(2) Is armed with or displays what appears to be explosives or
a deadly weapon.
In order for you to find the defendant guilty of the crime of burglary, the State must prove
beyond a reasonable doubt the following elements:
(1) That the defendant entered1 the (research facility)
If “surreptitiously remaining” is in your case, charge as follows: that the defendant surreptitiously remained
for some duration in the (research facility) (structure), or a separately secured or occupied portion thereof knowing
that (he/she) was not licensed or privileged to do so. [See N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2a(2) and Cannel, Criminal Code
Annotated, Comment 4, N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2 (requirement that this offense “requires a stay of some duration”)].
“Surreptitiously” means secretly, stealthily, or fraudulently. [Black’s Law Dictionary at p. 1445 (6th ed. 1990).
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(structure) known as without permission;
(2) That the defendant did so with the purpose to commit an
offense therein. (WHERE APPLICABLE CHARGE PERTINENT PART OF N.J.S.A. 2C:1-14p)
Research facility means any building, laboratory, institution, organization, or school
engaged in research, testing, educational or experimental activities, or any commercial or
academic enterprise that uses warm-blooded or cold-blooded animals for food or fiber
production, agriculture, research, testing, experimentation, or education. A research facility
includes, but is not limited to, any enclosure, separately secured yard, pad, pond, vehicle,
building structure or premises or separately secured portion thereof.
Structure includes any building [OR
room, ship, vessel, car, vehicle, or airplane, and also
means any place adapted for overnight accommodation of persons or for carrying on business
therein] whether or not a person is actually present.2
“Purpose to commit an offense” means that the defendant intended to commit an
unlawful act3 inside the (structure) (research facility). [WHERE APPLICABLE CHARGE:
The unlawful act(s) allegedly intended are set forth in count(s) _____ of this indictment.]
A person acts purposely with respect to the nature of his conduct or a result thereof if it is
(his/her) conscious object to engage in conduct of that nature or to cause such a result. Purpose,
with purpose, and similar words have the same meaning.5 In other words, in order for you to find
that the defendant acted purposely, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that it was
the defendant's conscious object at the time (he/she) unlawfully entered [OR surreptitiously
State v. Robinson, 289 N.J. Super. 447, 455 (App. Div. 1996); N.J.S.A. 2C:1-14k.
“[W]here the circumstances surrounding the unlawful entry do not give rise to any ambiguity or uncertainty
as to a defendant’s purpose in entering a structure without privilege to do so [and] led inevitably and reasonably to
the conclusion that some unlawful act is intended to be committed inside the structure, then specific instructions
delineating the precise unlawful acts intended are unnecessary.” Robinson, 289 N.J. Super. at 458 (emphasis in
original). However, where the circumstances surrounding defendant’s purpose in entering or surreptitiously
remaining in the structure or research facility are ambiguous, i.e., the evidence suggests both criminal and non-
criminal purposes for the entry, then it might be necessary to direct the jury’s consideration to the specific criminal
acts alleged in the indictment, if there are any. See, for instance, State v. Marquez, 277 N.J. Super. 162, 168-169
(App. Div. 1994).
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remained in] the premises to commit an unlawful act.6
A person's purpose is a state or a condition 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 witnesses be produced to testify that an accused said
(he/she) had a certain state of mind when (he/she) engaged in a particular act. (His/her) state of
mind may be gathered from (his/her) acts and (his/her) conduct, and from all (he/she) said and
did at the particular time and place, and from all of the surrounding circumstances.
If you find that the State has proved beyond a reasonable doubt the elements of the crime
of burglary, then you must determine whether the State has proven the following additional
element(s) beyond a reasonable doubt.
I have already informed you that a section of the statute provides that a burglary becomes
a crime of the second degree if the burglar (purposely, knowingly or recklessly) inflicts (or
purposely attempts to inflict), or threatens to inflict bodily injury on anyone or is armed with or
displays what appears to be explosives or a deadly weapon during the course of the burglary. (Charge when appropriate)
In this case the State has alleged that the defendant purposely inflicted (attempted
to inflict or threatened to inflict) bodily injury upon __________________ (Alleged victim).
I have already defined the term “purposely.” (Charge when appropriate)
In this case the State has alleged that the defendant knowingly inflicted bodily injury
upon ________________ (Alleged victim). A person acts knowingly with respect to the nature
of (his/her) conduct or the attendant circumstances if (he/she) is aware that (his/her) conduct is of
that nature, or that such circumstances exist, or (he/she) is aware of a high probability of their
existence. A person acts knowingly with respect to a result of (his/her) conduct if (he/she) is
aware that it is practically certain that (his/her) conduct will cause such a result. “Knowing,”
If the jury may find from the facts that although defendant entered the premises without permission, he did
not do so with the purpose to commit an offense therein, then the unauthorized entry may constitute a criminal
trespass. In that case, the jury should be charged on the appropriate lesser included offense of criminal trespass. See
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“with knowledge,” or equivalent terms have the same meaning.7 (Charge when appropriate)
In this case the State has alleged that the defendant recklessly inflicted bodily injury upon
_____________________ (Alleged victim). A person acts recklessly with respect to a material
element of an offense when (he/she) consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk
that the material element exists or will result from (his/her) conduct. The risk must be of such a
nature and degree that, considering the nature and purpose of the actor’s conduct and the
circumstances known to him, its disregard involves a gross deviation from the standard of
conduct that a reasonable person would observe in the actor’s situation. “Recklessness,” “with
recklessness” or equivalent terms have the same meaning.8 (Charge if applicable)
A person is guilty of an attempt to inflict bodily injury if (he/she) purposely commits an
act which constitutes a substantial step toward the commission of the infliction of bodily injury.9
The phrase “bodily injury” means physical pain, illness or impairment of physical
condition.10 (Charge when appropriate)
In this case the State alleges that the defendant was armed with or displayed what
appeared to be (explosives11) (a deadly weapon.12)
In order for a person to be armed with or display what appears to be (explosives) (a
For alternative definitions of attempt, see N.J.S.A. 2C:5-1.
See definition in N.J.S.A. 2C:11-1a.
If applicable, use the following definition from N.J.S.A. 2C:39-1(e): “Explosive” means any chemical
compound or mixture that is commonly used or is possessed for the purpose of producing an explosion and which
contains any oxidizing and combustible materials or other ingredients in such proportions, quantities or packing that
an ignition by fire, by friction, by concussion or by detonation of any part of the compound or mixture may cause
such a sudden generation of highly heated gases that the resultant gaseous pressures are capable of producing
destructive effects on continuous objects.
Where applicable, use the following definitions of “deadly weapon” [N.J.S.A. 2C:11-1(c)] and serious
bodily injury [N.J.S.A. 2C:11-1(b)]: “Deadly weapon” means any firearm or other weapon, device, instrument,
material or substance, whether animate or inanimate, which in the manner it is used or is intended to be used, is
known to be capable of producing death or serious bodily injury or which in the manner it is fashioned would lead
the victim reasonably to believe it to be capable of producing death or serious bodily injury. “Serious bodily injury”
means bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement, or
protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.
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deadly weapon), (he/she) must first be in possession of them. The word “possess” means a
knowing, intentional control of a designated thing, accompanied by a knowledge of its character.
I have already defined the term “knowingly.”
Thus, the person must know or be aware that (he/she) possesses the item (in this case ),
and (he/she) must know what it is that (he/she) possesses or controls (that it is ______________). [WHERE APPLICABLE CHARGE:
This possession cannot merely be a passing
control that is fleeting or uncertain in its nature. In other words, to “possess” within the meaning
of the law, the defendant must knowingly procure or receive the item possessed or be aware of
(his/her) control thereof for a sufficient period of time to have been able to relinquish (his/her)
control if (he/she) chose to do so.]
When we speak of possession, we mean a conscious, knowing possession. The law
recognizes two kinds of possession: they are actual possession and constructive possession.
A person is in actual possession of a particular article or thing when (he/she) knows what
it is: that is, (he/she) has knowledge of its character and knowingly has it on (his/her) person at a
given time. A person who, with knowledge of its character, knowingly has direct physical
control over a thing, at a given time, is in actual possession of it.
means possession in which the person does not physically have
the property, but though not physically on one’s person, (he/she) is aware of the presence of the
property and is able to exercise intentional control or dominion over it.
A person who, although not in actual possession, has knowledge of its character,
knowingly has both the power and the intention at a given time to exercise control over a thing,
either directly or through another person or persons, is then in constructive possession of it. [WHERE APPLICABLE CHARGE:
The law recognizes that possession may be sole
or joint. If one person alone has actual or constructive possession of a thing, possession is sole.
If two or more persons share actual or constructive possession of a thing, possession is joint; that
is, if they knowingly share control over the article.]
In order for defendant to be guilty of being “armed with” (explosives) (a deadly weapon),
however, the State must prove not only possession but also immediate access to that (explosive)
(deadly weapon). The State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the weapon was easily
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accessible and readily available for use during the burglary.13 [WHERE APPLICABLE CHARGE:
As long as such ready accessibility is proven, it does not matter whether defendant
was armed prior to arriving at the scene of the burglary or obtained the weapon during the course
of the burglary.]
If you find beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime of burglary
and in the course of committing that offense, (he/she) [purposely, knowingly or recklessly
purposely attempted to inflict) (OR
threatened to inflict) bodily injury upon
(alleged victim)] OR
[was armed with or displayed what appeared to be (explosives) (a deadly weapon)], then you
must find the defendant guilty of burglary in the second degree.
If you find the State did prove beyond a reasonable doubt all of the elements of the crime
of burglary but that the State has not proven beyond a reasonable doubt the additional element(s)
of the crime of burglary in the second degree as I have defined that (those) element(s) to you,
then you must find the defendant not guilty of burglary in the second degree but guilty of
If you find that the State has not proven beyond a reasonable doubt each element of the
crime of burglary as I have defined that crime to you, then you must find the defendant not
State v. Merritt, 247 N.J. Super. 425, 430-431 (App. Div. 1991) (“[T]he term ‘armed’ is not synonymous
with the term ‘in possession of a weapon’...,” which is the standard for mandatory sentencing under the Graves Act
[N.J.S.A. 2C:43-6c]). “The term ‘armed’ connotes not only possession but also immediate access to a weapon.” Id.
at 430. Note that in State v. Rolon, 199 N.J. 575, 584-585 (2009), in which it was held that in a prosecution for first
degree robbery involving a non-firearm weapon, “a defendant cannot be considered to have been ‘armed with a
deadly weapon’ unless he had immediate access to the potential weapon and an intent to use it in a way that is
‘capable of producing death or serious bodily injury,’” the Court rejected the State’s reliance on the above-quoted
definition of “armed” because Merritt was “decided under an entirely different statutory scheme.” However, in
footnote 1 of Rolon, the Court cautioned that “[w]e do not decide here whether our reasoning regarding the robbery
statute is applicable in the burglary setting.” Id. at 585. But see the concurring opinion in Rolon, 199 N.J. at 587-
591, in which two justices expressed the belief that the rationale of Rolon regarding non-firearm armed robbery
applies equally to the second degree burglary statute.
This sentence should be considered when it is alleged that the weapon with which defendant was “armed”
was part of the proceeds of a theft committed during the burglary. Merritt, 247 N.J. Super. at 430.