Sunday, January 25, 2009

Request for Instructions, Charge to the Jury, and Preliminary Instructions

Rule 647. Request for Instruction, Charge to the Jury, and Preliminary Instructions.

(A) Any party may submit to the trial judge written requests for instructions to the jury. Such requests shall be submitted within a reasonable time before the closing arguments, and at the same time copies thereof shall be furnished to the other parties. Before closing arguments, the trial judge shall inform the parties on the record of the judge’s rulings on all written requests. The trial judge shall charge the jury after the arguments are completed.

(B) No portions of the charge nor omissions therefrom may be assigned as error, unless specific objections are made thereto before the jury retires to deliberate. All such objections shall be made beyond the hearing of the jury.

(C) After the jury has retired to consider its verdict, additional or correctional instructions may be given by the trial judge in the presence of all parties, except that the defendant’s absence without cause shall not preclude proceeding, as provided in Rule 602.

(D) The trial judge may give instructions to the jury before the taking of evidence or at anytime during the trial as the judge deems necessary and appropriate for the jury’s guidance in hearing the case.