2021 Missouri Revised Statutes
Title XXXVIII - Crimes and Punishment; Peace Officers and Public Defenders
Chapter 556 - Preliminary Provisions (Criminal Code)
Section 556.046 - Conviction of included offenses — jury instructions.
Effective - 01 Jan 2017, 2 histories
556.046. Conviction of included offenses — jury instructions. — 1. A person may be convicted of an offense included in an offense charged in the indictment or information. An offense is so included when:
(1) It is established by proof of the same or less than all the facts required to establish the commission of the offense charged; or
(2) It is specifically denominated by statute as a lesser degree of the offense charged; or
(3) It consists of an attempt to commit the offense charged or to commit an offense otherwise included therein.
2. The court shall not be obligated to charge the jury with respect to an included offense unless there is a basis for a verdict acquitting the person of the offense charged and convicting him of the included offense. An offense is charged for purposes of this section if:
(1) It is in an indictment or information; or
(2) It is an offense submitted to the jury because there is a basis for a verdict acquitting the person of the offense charged and convicting the person of the included offense.
3. The court shall be obligated to instruct the jury with respect to a particular included offense only if there is a basis in the evidence for acquitting the person of the immediately higher included offense and there is a basis in the evidence for convicting the person of that particular included offense.
(L. 1977 S.B. 60, A.L. 2001 S.B. 223, A.L. 2014 S.B. 491)
(1980) Although policy is to give the jury in a homicide case the right to commute punishment for an offense actually committed and to impose the punishment it finds proper, such right is not unrestricted since if an acquittal of the higher degree of crime necessarily requires a fact finding that is also necessary for a finding of guilt of a lesser crime, the acquittal serves to preclude conviction of either. State v. Martin (A.), 602 S.W.2d 772.
(1981) Statute providing that defendant may be convicted of offense included in offense charged is legislative determination that offense can be a lesser offense of another offense so that charge of greater will support conviction of lesser although lesser is not necessarily included in greater; declining to follow State v. Handley, 585 S.W.2d 458, to extent of conflict. State v. Wilkerson (Mo.), 616 S.W.2d 829.
(1981) Statute must be construed as requiring an instruction on a lesser-included offense only where there is evidence of probative value which could form basis of an acquittal of greater offense and a conviction of lesser-included offense. State v. Hill (A.), 614 S.W.2d 744.