California Criminal Jury Instructions (CALCRIM) (2017)

316. Additional Instructions on Witness Credibility - Other Conduct

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316.Additional Instructions on Witness Credibility—Other
Conduct
<Alternative A—felony conviction>
[If you find that a witness has been convicted of a felony, you may
consider that fact [only] in evaluating the credibility of the witness’s
testimony. The fact of a conviction does not necessarily destroy or
impair a witness’s credibility. It is up to you to decide the weight of that
fact and whether that fact makes the witness less believable.]
<Alternative B—prior criminal conduct with or without conviction>
[If you find that a witness has committed a crime or other misconduct,
you may consider that fact [only] in evaluating the credibility of the
witness’s testimony. The fact that a witness may have committed a
crime or other misconduct does not necessarily destroy or impair a
witness’s credibility. It is up to you to decide the weight of that fact and
whether that fact makes the witness less believable.]
New January 2006
BENCH NOTES
Instructional Duty
There is no sua sponte duty to give this instruction; however, the instruction must
be given on request. (People v. Kendrick (1989) 211 Cal.App.3d 1273, 1278 [260
Cal.Rptr. 27]; People v. Hernandez (2004) 33 Cal.4th 1040, 1051–1052 [16
Cal.Rptr.3d 880, 94 P.3d 1080] [overruling People v. Mayfield (1972) 23
Cal.App.3d 236 [100 Cal.Rptr. 104], which had found a sua sponte duty to give
limiting instruction on felony conviction admitted for impeachment].)
If a felony conviction or other misconduct has been admitted only on the issue of
credibility, give the bracketed word “only.”
Do not give this instruction if a conviction also has been admitted to prove an
element of a charged offense. (People v. Dewberry (1959) 51 Cal.2d 548, 553–554
[334 P.2d 852].)
It is unclear whether this instruction is appropriate if the evidence also has been
admitted for a purpose other than to prove an element of the offense (as discussed
above). For example, the evidence may have been admitted under Evidence Code
section 1108. In such cases, if the court does give this instruction, the court may
omit the bracketed “only.”
AUTHORITY
• Limiting Instruction Must Be Given on Request. People v. Kendrick (1989)
211 Cal.App.3d 1273, 1278 [260 Cal.Rptr. 27]; People v. Hernandez (2004) 33
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Cal.4th 1040, 1051–1052 [16 Cal.Rptr.3d 880, 94 P.3d 1080].
• Felony Conviction Admissible for Impeachment. Evid. Code, § 788.
• Standard for Admitting Felony Conviction. People v. Castro (1985) 38 Cal.3d
301, 306–319 [211 Cal.Rptr. 719, 696 P.2d 111]; People v. Beagle (1972) 6
Cal.3d 441, 451–452 [99 Cal.Rptr. 313, 492 P.2d 1].
• Misdemeanor Conduct Admissible for Impeachment. People v. Wheeler (1992)
4 Cal.4th 284, 295–296 [14 Cal.Rptr.2d 418, 841 P.2d 938].
• Record Must Demonstrate Court Conducted Evid. Code, § 352
Weighing. People v. Navarez (1985) 169 Cal.App.3d 936, 950 [215 Cal.Rptr.
519].
• Modifications to this Instruction Created Error. People v. Gray (2007) 158
Cal.App.4th 635, 640–641 [69 Cal.Rptr.3d 876].
Secondary Sources
1 Witkin, California Evidence (4th ed. 2000) Presentation, §§ 292–314.
4Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 82,
Witnesses, § 82.22[3][e], Ch. 85, Submission to Jury and Verdict, §§ 85.02[2][b],
85.03[2][b] (Matthew Bender).
5 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 105,
Executive Clemency, § 105.04[3] (Matthew Bender).
EVIDENCE CALCRIM No. 316
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