The Florida Bar

About Criminal Jury Instructions

The website contains standard jury instructions prepared by the Florida Supreme Court Criminal Jury Instructions Committee. Boldface type, brackets, parentheses, and italics have been used to give certain directions. Refer to How to Use the Standard Jury Instructions, Criminal & Jimmy Ryce Cases for examples.

Category One and Two Lesser Included Crimes

Judges must instruct on crimes listed in Category One absent an agreement by the parties and assuming no other legal impediment such as the statute of limitations. Category One contains a list of those crimes that must have been committed if the greater crime was committed OR that require a jury instruction because of Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.490.

Prosecutors can, however, draft a charging document in a way that creates a lesser included offense for a non-Category One crime. In those cases, if crime(s) other than the main crime were charged AND if there were evidence elicited that supported the elements of any lesser crime charged, the judge must instruct on the lesser crime(s), assuming no other legal impediment such as the statute of limitations. Both prongs (crime was charged and sufficient evidence was elicited) must be met because it is improper to find guilt on a crime either not charged (unless the parties agreed to the instruction) or not supported by the evidence. The Criminal Jury Instructions Committee has listed commonly charged lesser included crimes in the Category Two boxes. However, the Category Two list in the standard instructions is not exhaustive.

Viewing the Instructions

Links to each individual Standard Jury Instruction for Criminal Cases are provided in Rich Text Format. These documents are best viewed in a word processing application (Word, Pages, etc.), not using a viewer. Prior versions of standard instructions may be obtained by emailing committee staff.

Please note: To ensure you are viewing the most recent version of an instruction, refresh your browser if you have viewed the instruction in the past. This will clear the older version from your browser’s memory.

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