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Texas Criminal Pattern Jury Charges: General, Evidentiary & Ancillary Instructions

The State Bar of Texas recently published an update to its Criminal Pattern Jury Charges with a new volume of General, Evidentiary, and Ancillary Instructions. Updated for the first time in five years, it includes new commentary and case references along with its sample charges. Specifically, the 2018 edition has added instruction on slow pleas (submissions not tantamount to guilty pleas), the corpus deliciti rule (requiring proof beyond a confession for conviction), and sample Allen instructions (instructing a deadlocked jury to continue deliberations).

The purpose of the Pattern Jury Charges is to assist the bench and bar in preparing the court’s charge in jury cases. They are general in nature, requiring an analysis of the specific case at and hand, and may be used as the starting point for drafting the instructions for trial court. The volume provides an outline that explicitly states the relevant statutes and legal definitions and then applies the law to the facts in plain language. Each section is clearly identified, and the format enhances readability for the jury. The volume’s first section, “Quick Guide to Drafting a Jury Charge,” that provides a concise and easy to understand guide to the steps in drafting a charge- very useful for newer attorneys practicing criminal law in Texas.

The volume is drafted by the member of the Texas State Bar Pattern Jury Charges-Criminal Committee. In 2015 and 2016, the Charges began to be reorganized and republished to allow for expansion of the series. Currently, the Charges series includes the following volumes: Criminal Defenses, Intoxication and Controlled Substances, Crimes Against Persons and Property, and the General, Evidentiary, and Ancillary Instructions.

You can access both the Texas Criminal Pattern Jury Charges and the Texas Pattern Jury Charges- Civil online through your LexisAdvance subscription or visit the library to review the volumes in our Reserve collection.

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