TITLE 11

Crimes and Criminal Procedure

Delaware Criminal Code

CHAPTER 3. PROVING AND DISPROVING CRIMINAL GUILT


(a) In any prosecution for an offense, a prima facie case for the State consists of some credible evidence tending to prove the existence of each element of the offense.

(b) No person may be convicted of an offense unless each element of the offense is proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

(c) In any prosecution for any compound crime, including but not limited to first degree murder under § 636(a)(2) or (a)(6) of this title or for second degree murder under § 635(2) of this title, the corpus delicti of the underlying felony need not be proved independently of a defendant's extrajudicial statement.

11 Del. C. 1953, § 301; 58 Del. Laws, c. 497, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 463, § 1.;

(a) Pursuant to § 301(b) of this title, the defendant is entitled to a jury instruction that the jury must acquit if they fail to find each element of the offense proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

(b) The defendant may produce whatever evidence the defendant has tending to negate the existence of any element of the offense, and, if the court finds that a reasonable juror might believe that evidence, the defendant is entitled to a jury instruction that the jury must consider whether the evidence raises a reasonable doubt as to the defendant's guilt.

11 Del. C. 1953, § 302; 58 Del. Laws, c. 497, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) No defense defined by this Criminal Code or by another statute may be considered by the jury unless the court is satisfied that some credible evidence supporting the defense has been presented.

(b) Evidence supports a defense when it tends to establish the existence of each element of the defense.

(c) If some credible evidence supporting a defense is presented, the defendant is entitled to a jury instruction that the jury must acquit the defendant if they find that the evidence raises a reasonable doubt as to the defendant's guilt.

11 Del. C. 1953, § 303; 58 Del. Laws, c. 497, § 1; 59 Del. Laws, c. 547, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) When a defense declared by this Criminal Code or by another statute to be an affirmative defense is raised at trial, the defendant has the burden of establishing it by a preponderance of the evidence.

(b) Unless the court determines that no reasonable juror could find an affirmative defense established by a preponderance of the evidence presented by the defendant, the defendant is entitled to a jury instruction that the jury must acquit the defendant if they find the affirmative defense established by a preponderance of the evidence.

(c) An affirmative defense is established by a preponderance of the evidence when the jury is persuaded that the evidence makes it more likely than not that each element of the affirmative defense existed at the required time.

11 Del. C. 1953, § 304; 58 Del. Laws, c. 497, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

When this Criminal Code or another statute specifically exempts a person or activity from the scope of its application and the defendant contends that the defendant is legally entitled to be exempted thereby, the burden is on the defendant to prove, as an affirmative defense, facts necessary to bring the defendant within the exemption.

11 Del. C. 1953, § 305; 58 Del. Laws, c. 497, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) There are no conclusive presumptions in this Criminal Code, and all conclusive presumptions formerly existing in the criminal law of this State are hereby abolished.

(b) Rebuttable presumptions formerly existing in the criminal law of this State are preserved except to the extent that they are inconsistent with this Criminal Code.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Criminal Code, the following rebuttable presumptions are expressly preserved:

(1) A person is presumed to intend the natural and probable consequences of the person's act.

(2) A person found in possession of goods acquired as a result of the commission of a recent crime is presumed to have committed the crime.

(d) Proof of a fact tending to create a rebuttable presumption not inconsistent with this Criminal Code or a presumption created by this Criminal Code constitutes prima facie evidence of the presumed conclusion.

(e) The court may tell the jury of the existence of the presumption, and if it does so the defendant is entitled to a jury instruction that the presumption does not relieve the State of its burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Nevertheless, the jury may convict the defendant, despite the existence of evidence tending to rebut the presumption, if they find no reasonable doubt about the defendant's guilt.

11 Del. C. 1953, § 306; 58 Del. Laws, c. 497, § 1; 59 Del. Laws, c. 203, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) The defendant's intention, recklessness, knowledge or belief at the time of the offense for which the defendant is charged may be inferred by the jury from the circumstances surrounding the act the defendant is alleged to have done. In making the inference permitted by this section, the jury may consider whether a reasonable person in the defendant's circumstances at the time of the offense would have had or lacked the requisite intention, recklessness, knowledge or belief.

(b) When the defendant's intention, recklessness, knowledge or belief is an element of an offense, it is sufficient to establish a prima facie case for the State to prove circumstances surrounding the act which the defendant is alleged to have done from which a reasonable juror might infer that the defendant's intention, recklessness, knowledge or belief was of the sort required for commission of the offense.

11 Del. C. 1953, § 307; 58 Del. Laws, c. 497, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

When a provision of this Criminal Code expressly denies the applications of a specific defense, no inference is thereby created that any other defense is valid.

11 Del. C. 1953, § 308; 58 Del. Laws, c. 497, § 1.;