CALCRIM No. 2141. Failure to Perform Duty Following Accident: Death or Injury - Defendant Nondriving Owner or Passenger in Control (Veh. Code, §§ 20001, 20003 & 20004)
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2141.Failure to Perform Duty Following Accident: Death or
Injury - Defendant Nondriving Owner or Passenger in Control
(Veh. Code, §§ 20001, 20003 & 20004)
The defendant is charged [in Count ] with failing to perform a
legal duty following a vehicle accident that caused (death/ [or]
[permanent] injury) to another person [in violation of
<insert appropriate code section[s]>].
To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must
1. The defendant [owned and] was riding as a passenger in a vehicle
involved in an accident;
2. At the time of the accident, the defendant had full authority to
direct and control the vehicle even though another person was
driving the vehicle;
3. The accident caused (the death of/ [or] [permanent, serious]
injury to) someone else;
4. The defendant knew that the vehicle had been involved in an
accident that injured another person [or knew from the nature of
the accident that it was probable that another person had been
5. The defendant willfully failed to perform one or more of the
(a) To cause the driver of the vehicle to immediately stop at the
scene of the accident;
(b) When requested, to show (his/her) driver’s license, or any
other available identification, to (the person struck/ the driver
or occupants of any vehicle collided with) or any peace officer
at the scene of the accident;
(c) To provide reasonable assistance to any person injured in the
(d) To give to (the person struck/the driver or occupants of any
vehicle collided with) or any peace officer at the scene of the
accident all of the following information:
• The defendant’s name and current residence address;
• The registration number of the vehicle (he/she) (owned/
was a passenger in);
• The name and current residence address of the driver of
•<Give following sentence if defendant not owner of vehicle.>
• The name and current residence address of the owner of
the vehicle if the defendant is not the owner(;/.)]
•<Give following sentence if occupants of defendant’s vehicle
• The names and current residence addresses of any
occupants of the defendant’s vehicle who were injured in
<Give element 5(e) if accident caused death.>
(e) The driver must, without unnecessary delay, notify either the
police department of the city where the accident happened or
the local headquarters of the California Highway Patrol if the
accident happened in an unincorporated area.]
Someone commits an act willfully when he or she does it willingly or on
purpose. It is not required that he or she intend to break the law, hurt
someone else, or gain any advantage.
The duty to immediately stop means that the (owner/passenger in control)
must cause the vehicle he or she is a passenger in to stop as soon as
reasonably possible under the circumstances.
To provide reasonable assistance means the (owner/passenger in control)
must determine what assistance, if any, the injured person needs and
make a reasonable effort to see that such assistance is provided, either
by the (owner/passenger in control) or someone else. Reasonable
assistance includes transporting anyone who has been injured for
medical treatment, or arranging the transportation for such treatment, if
it is apparent that treatment is necessary or if an injured person
requests transportation. [The (owner/passenger in control) is not
required to provide assistance that is unnecessary or that is already
being provided by someone else. However, the requirement that the
(owner/passenger in control) provide assistance is not excused merely
because bystanders are on the scene or could provide assistance.]
CALCRIM No. 2141 VEHICLE OFFENSES
The (owner/passenger in control) of a vehicle must perform the duties
listed regardless of who was injured and regardless of how or why the
accident happened. It does not matter if someone else caused the
accident or if the accident was unavoidable.
You may not find the defendant guilty unless all of you agree that the
People have proved that the defendant failed to perform at least one of
the required duties. You must all agree on which duty the defendant
failed to perform.
[To be involved in an accident means to be connected with the accident in
a natural or logical manner. It is not necessary for the vehicle to collide
with another vehicle or person.]
[A permanent, serious injury is one that permanently impairs the
function or causes the loss of any organ or body part.]
[An accident causes (death/ [or] [permanent, serious] injury) if the
(death/ [or] injury) is the direct, natural, and probable consequence of
the accident and the (death/ [or] injury) would not have happened
without the accident. A natural and probable consequence is one that a
reasonable person would know is likely to happen if nothing unusual
intervenes. In deciding whether a consequence is natural and probable,
consider all the circumstances established by the evidence.]
[There may be more than one cause of (death/ [or] [permanent, serious]
injury). An accident causes (death/ [or] injury) only if it is a substantial
factor in causing the (death/ [or] injury). A substantial factor is more
than a trivial or remote factor. However, it need not be the only factor
that causes the (death/ [or] injury).]
[If the accident caused the defendant to be unconscious or disabled so
that (he/she) was not capable of performing the duties required by law,
then (he/she) did not have to perform those duties at that time.
[However, (he/she) was required to do so as soon as reasonably
[If the defendant told the driver to stop and made a reasonable effort to
stop the vehicle, but the driver refused, then the defendant is not guilty
of this crime.]
New January 2006; Revised October 2010
The court has a sua sponte duty to give this instruction defining the elements of the
crime. Give this instruction if the prosecution alleges that the defendant was a
nondriving owner present in the vehicle or other passenger in control. If the
VEHICLE OFFENSES CALCRIM No. 2141
prosecution alleges that the defendant drove the vehicle, give CALCRIM No. 2140,
Failure to Perform Duty Following Accident: Death or Injury - Defendant Driver.
If causation is at issue, the court has a sua sponte duty to instruct on proximate
cause. (People v. Bernhardt (1963) 222 Cal.App.2d 567, 590-591 [35 Cal.Rptr.
401].) If the evidence indicates that there was only one cause of death or injury, the
court should give the “direct, natural, and probable” language in the first bracketed
paragraph on causation. If there is evidence of multiple causes of death or injury,
the court should also give the “substantial factor” instruction in the second
bracketed paragraph on causation. (See People v. Autry (1995) 37 Cal.App.4th 351,
363 [43 Cal.Rptr.2d 135]; People v. Pike (1988) 197 Cal.App.3d 732, 746-747 [243
If the defendant is charged under Vehicle Code section 20001(b)(1) with leaving the
scene of an accident causing injury, but not death or permanent, serious injury,
delete the words “death” and “permanent, serious” from the instruction. If the
defendant is charged under Vehicle Code section 20001(b)(2) with leaving the scene
of an accident causing death or permanent, serious injury, use either or both of these
options throughout the instruction, depending on the facts of the case. When
instructing on both offenses, give this instruction using the words “death” and/or
“permanent, serious injury,” and give CALCRIM No. 2142, Failure to Perform Duty
Following Accident: Lesser Included Offense.
Give bracketed element 5(e) only if the accident caused a death.
Give the bracketed portion that begins with “The (owner/passenger in control) is not
required to provide assistance” if there is an issue over whether assistance by the
defendant to the injured person was necessary in light of aid provided by others.
(See People v. Scheer (1998) 68 Cal.App.4th 1009, 1027 [80 Cal.Rptr.2d 676];
People v. Scofield (1928) 203 Cal. 703, 708 [265 P. 914]; see also discussion in the
Related Issues section of CALCRIM No. 2140, Failure to Perform Duty Following
Accident: Death or Injury - Defendant Driver.)
Give the bracketed paragraph defining “involved in an accident” if that is an issue
in the case.
Give the bracketed paragraph that begins with “If the accident caused the defendant
to be unconscious” if there is sufficient evidence that the defendant was unconscious
or disabled at the scene of the accident.
Give the bracketed paragraph that begins with “If the defendant told the driver to
stop” if there is sufficient evidence that the defendant attempted to cause the vehicle
to be stopped.
• Elements. Veh. Code, §§ 20001, 20003 & 20004.
• Sentence for Death or Permanent Injury. Veh. Code, § 20001(b)(2).
• Knowledge of Accident and Injury. People v. Holford (1965) 63 Cal.2d 74,
79-80 [45 Cal.Rptr. 167, 403 P.2d 423]; People v. Carter (1966) 243 Cal.App.2d
CALCRIM No. 2141 VEHICLE OFFENSES
239, 241 [52 Cal.Rptr. 207]; People v. Hamilton (1978) 80 Cal.App.3d 124,
133-134 [145 Cal.Rptr. 429].
• Willful Failure to Perform Duty. People v. Crouch (1980) 108 Cal.App.3d
Supp. 14, 21-22 [166 Cal.Rptr. 818].
• Duty Applies Regardless of Fault for Accident. People v. Scofield (1928) 203
Cal. 703, 708 [265 P. 914].
• Involved Defined. People v. Bammes (1968) 265 Cal.App.2d 626, 631 [71
Cal.Rptr. 415]; People v. Sell (1950) 96 Cal.App.2d 521, 523 [215 P.2d 771].
• Immediately Stopped Defined. People v. Odom (1937) 19 Cal.App.2d 641,
646-647 [66 P.2d 206].
• Duty to Render Assistance. People v. Scofield (1928) 203 Cal. 703, 708 [265 P.
914]; People v. Scheer (1998) 68 Cal.App.4th 1009, 1027 [80 Cal.Rptr.2d 676].
• Permanent, Serious Injury Defined. Veh. Code, § 20001(d).
• Nondriving Owner. People v. Rallo (1931) 119 Cal.App. 393, 397 [6 P.2d 516].
• Statute Does Not Violate Fifth Amendment Privilege. California v. Byers
(1971) 402 U.S. 424, 434 [91 S.Ct. 1535, 29 L.Ed.2d 9].
• Unanimity Instruction Required. People v. Scofield (1928) 203 Cal. 703, 710
[265 P. 914].
• Unconscious Driver Unable to Comply at Scene. People v. Flores (1996) 51
Cal.App.4th 1199, 1204 [59 Cal.Rptr.2d 637].
• Offense May Occur on Private Property. People v. Stansberry (1966) 242
Cal.App.2d 199, 204 [51 Cal.Rptr. 403].
• Duty Applies to Injured Passenger in Defendant’s Vehicle. People v. Kroncke
(1999) 70 Cal.App.4th 1535, 1546 [83 Cal.Rptr.2d 493].
LESSER INCLUDED OFFENSES
• Failure to Stop Following Accident - Injury. Veh. Code, § 20001(b)(1).
• Misdemeanor Failure to Stop Following Accident - Property Damage. Veh.
Code, § 20002; but see People v. Carter (1966) 243 Cal.App.2d 239, 242-243
[52 Cal.Rptr. 207].
See the Related Issues section in CALCRIM No. 2140, Failure to Perform Duty
Following Accident: Death or Injury - Defendant Driver.
2 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (4th ed. 2012) Crimes Against Public
Peace and Welfare, §§ 313-319.
6 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 140,
Challenges to Crimes, § 140.03 (Matthew Bender).
VEHICLE OFFENSES CALCRIM No. 2141