Criminal Law

333. Opinion Testimony of Lay Witness

(A witness/Witnesses)[, who (was/were) not testifying as [an] expert[s],] gave (his/her/their) opinion[s] during the trial. You may but are not required to accept (that/those) opinion[s] as true or correct. You may give the opinion[s] whatever weight you think appropriate. Consider the extent of the witness's opportunity to perceive the matters on which his or her opinion is based, the reasons the witness gave for any opinion, and the facts or information on which the witness relied in forming that opinion. You must decide whether information on which the witness relied was true and accurate. You may disregard all or any part of an opinion that you find unbelievable, unreasonable, or unsupported by the evidence.

Bench Notes

Instructional Duty

Give this instruction on request when a lay witness gives opinion testimony.

Give the bracketed phrase "who was not testifying as an expert" if an expert witness also testified in the case.

Related Instructions

CALCRIM No. 332, Expert Witness Testimony.

CALCRIM No. 1860, Owner's Opinion of Value.


Opinion Testimony. Evid. Code, §§ 800, 802.

Opinion Testimony to Prove Character. Evid. Code, § 1100.

Jury Must Decide What Weight to Give Lay Opinion. See People v. Pena (1977) 68 Cal.App.3d 100, 102-103 [135 Cal.Rptr. 602].

Secondary Sources

1 Witkin, California Evidence (4th ed. 2000) Opinion Evidence, §§ 3-25.

4 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 82, Witnesses, § 82.22[3][d], Ch. 83, Evidence, § 83.11 (Matthew Bender).

(New January 2006)