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Code of Criminal Procedure

Title XXVI. Trial Procedure

Chapter 1. General Provisions

Art. 761. Commencement of trial

A jury trial commences when the first prospective juror is called for examination.  A trial by a judge alone commences when the first witness is sworn.

Art. 761.1. Homicide victim's picture;  possession by family member in courtroom

In the case of a homicide, and with prior court approval, one member of the victim's family shall be authorized to possess in the courtroom, during the trial of the case a photograph of the deceased victim that is not larger than eight by ten inches and is not inflammatory in nature.  Nothing in this Article shall preclude the admission into evidence of a photograph of the victim that the court deems admissible.

Acts 1999, No. 1066, §1.

Art. 762. Place of sessions of court

Sessions of court shall be held at the parish courthouse and, if there is more than one courthouse in a parish, sessions may be held at any such courthouse, or sessions may be held at places within the parish other than the courthouse or courthouses in the discretion of the court:

(1)  To take the testimony of witnesses who are so incapacitated that they cannot attend the trial in the parish courthouse;

(2)  To allow the jury or judge to view the place where the crime or any material part thereof is alleged to have occurred, or to view an object which is admissible in evidence but which is difficult to produce in court.  At this view, the court shall not permit the taking of evidence except in connection with the place or object; or

(3)  When the courthouse in which the sessions are usually held is unsuitable for use, or there is no courthouse.

Amended by Acts 1972, No. 354, §1.

Art. 763. Proceedings on holidays

Trials and hearings may commence or continue on a holiday or half-holiday in the discretion of the court.

Art. 764. Exclusion of witnesses

The exclusion of witnesses is governed by Louisiana Code of Evidence Article 615.

Acts 1986, No. 968, §1; Acts 1988, No. 515, §3, eff. Jan. 1, 1989.

{{NOTE:  SEE ACTS 1988, NO. 515, §12.}}

Art. 765. Normal order of trial

The normal order of trial shall be as follows:

(1)  The selection and swearing of the jury;

(2)  The reading of the indictment;

(3)  The reading of the defendant's plea on arraignment;

(4)  The opening statements of the state and of the defendant;

(5)  The presentation of the evidence of the state, and of the defendant, and of the state in rebuttal.  The court in its discretion may permit the introduction of additional evidence prior to argument;

(6)  The argument of the state, the defendant, and the state in rebuttal;

(7)  The court's charge;

(8)  The announcement of the verdict or mistrial in jury cases, or of the judgment in nonjury cases; and

(9)  The discharge of the jury in jury cases.

When there is more than one defendant, the court shall determine the order of trial as between them.

A defendant may waive his opening statement.

Art. 766. Opening statement by state;  scope

The opening statement of the state shall explain the nature of the charge, and set forth, in general terms, the nature of the evidence by which the state expects to prove the charge.

Art. 767. Same;  prohibition against adverting to confessions

The state shall not, in the opening statement, advert in any way to a confession or inculpatory statement made by the defendant unless the statement has been previously ruled admissible in the case.

Acts 1995, No. 1278, §1.

Art. 768. Same;  use of confession or inculpatory statement;  notice to defendant prior to opening statement

Unless the defendant has been granted pretrial discovery, if the state intends to introduce a confession or inculpatory statement in evidence, it shall so advise the defendant in writing prior to beginning the state's opening statement.  If it fails to do so a confession or inculpatory statement shall not be admissible in evidence.

Amended by Acts 1982, No. 735, §1.

Art. 769. Same;  effect on introduction of evidence

Evidence not fairly within the scope of the opening statement of the state shall not be admitted in evidence.

If the state offers evidence that was inadvertently and in good faith omitted from the opening statement, the court, in its discretion may admit the evidence if it finds that the defendant is not taken by surprise or prejudiced in the preparation of his defense.

Art. 770. Prejudicial remarks;  basis of mistrial

Upon motion of a defendant, a mistrial shall be ordered when a remark or comment, made within the hearing of the jury by the judge, district attorney, or a court official, during the trial or in argument, refers directly or indirectly to:

(1)  Race, religion, color or national origin, if the remark or comment is not material and relevant and might create prejudice against the defendant in the mind of the jury;

(2)  Another crime committed or alleged to have been committed by the defendant as to which evidence is not admissible;

(3)  The failure of the defendant to testify in his own defense; or

(4)  The refusal of the judge to direct a verdict.

An admonition to the jury to disregard the remark or comment shall not be sufficient to prevent a mistrial.  If the defendant, however, requests that only an admonition be given, the court shall admonish the jury to disregard the remark or comment but shall not declare a mistrial.

Art. 771. Admonition

In the following cases, upon the request of the defendant or the state, the court shall promptly admonish the jury to disregard a remark or comment made during the trial, or in argument within the hearing of the jury, when the remark is irrelevant or immaterial and of such a nature that it might create prejudice against the defendant, or the state, in the mind of the jury:

(1)  When the remark or comment is made by the judge, the district attorney, or a court official, and the remark is not within the scope of Article 770; or

(2)  When the remark or comment is made by a witness or person other than the judge, district attorney, or a court official, regardless of whether the remark or comment is within the scope of Article 770.

In such cases, on motion of the defendant, the court may grant a mistrial if it is satisfied that an admonition is not sufficient to assure the defendant a fair trial.

Art. 772. Comment on facts by judge in jury's presence prohibited

The judge in the presence of the jury shall not comment upon the facts of the case, either by commenting upon or recapitulating the evidence, repeating the testimony of any witness, or giving an opinion as to what has been proved, not proved, or refuted.

Art. 773. Order of evidence;  foundation

Neither the state nor the defendant can be controlled by the court as to the order in which evidence shall be adduced.  The procedure for laying a foundation is provided in the Louisiana Code of Evidence.

Acts 1988, No. 515, §3, eff. Jan. 1, 1989.

{{NOTE:  SEE ACTS 1988, NO. 515, §12.}}

Art. 774. Argument;  scope

The argument shall be confined to evidence admitted, to the lack of evidence, to conclusions of fact that the state or defendant may draw therefrom, and to the law applicable to the case.

The argument shall not appeal to prejudice.

The state's rebuttal shall be confined to answering the argument of the defendant.

Art. 775. Mistrial;  grounds for

A mistrial may be ordered, and in a jury case the jury dismissed, when:

(1)  The defendant consents thereto;

(2)  The jury is unable to agree upon a verdict;

(3)  There is a legal defect in the proceedings which would make any judgment entered upon a verdict reversible as a matter of law;

(4)  The court finds that the defendant does not have the mental capacity to proceed;

(5)  It is physically impossible to proceed with the trial in conformity with law; or

(6)  False statements of a juror on voir dire prevent a fair trial.

Upon motion of a defendant, a mistrial shall be ordered, and in a jury case the jury dismissed, when prejudicial conduct in or outside the courtroom makes it impossible for the defendant to obtain a fair trial, or when authorized by Article 770 or 771.

A mistrial shall be ordered, and in a jury case the jury dismissed, when the state and the defendant jointly move for a mistrial.

Art. 775.1. Automatic stay following order of mistrial

If a judge orders a mistrial, then upon motion of either the state or the defendant, the court shall order an automatic twenty-four-hour stay of all proceedings in which either the state or the defendant may take an emergency writ application to the appropriate reviewing courts with appellate jurisdiction, including the Louisiana Supreme Court.  The jury shall not be released pending the stay unless both the state and defendant agree to release the jury.

Acts 2004, No. 413, §1; Acts 2011, No. 87, §1.

Art. 776. Oath of witness

Before a witness is permitted to testify he shall be sworn, in accordance with Article 14.

Art. 777. Recordation of proceedings

A record of the trial proceedings shall be made in accordance with other provisions of law.

Art. 778. Motion for acquittal

In a trial by the judge alone the court shall enter a judgment of acquittal on one or more of the offenses charged, on its own motion or on that of defendant, after the close of the state's evidence or of all the evidence, if the evidence is insufficient to sustain a conviction.

If the court denies a defendant's motion for a judgment of acquittal at the close of the state's case, the defendant may offer its evidence in defense.

Amended by Acts 1975, No. 527, §1.

Chapter 2. Trial Without Jury

Art. 779. Trial of misdemeanors

A.  A defendant charged with a misdemeanor in which the punishment, as set forth in the statute defining the offense, may be a fine in excess of one thousand dollars or imprisonment for more than six months shall be tried by a jury of six jurors, all of whom must concur to render a verdict.

B.  The defendant charged with any other misdemeanor shall be tried by the court without a jury.

Amended by Acts 1968, No. 635, §1; Acts 1974, Ex.Sess., No. 23, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1975; Acts 1975, 1st Ex.Sess., No. 16, §1, eff. Jan. 28, 1975; Acts 1979, No. 56, §1; Acts 1986, No. 852, §1, eff. July 10, 1986; Acts 1988, No. 202, §1.

Art. 780. Right to waive trial by jury

A.  A defendant charged with an offense other than one punishable by death may knowingly and intelligently waive a trial by jury and elect to be tried by the judge.

B.  The defendant shall exercise his right to waive trial by jury in accordance with Article I, Section 17 of the Constitution of Louisiana. The waiver shall be by written motion filed in the district court not later than forty-five days prior to the date the case is set for trial.  The motion shall be signed by the defendant and shall also be signed by defendant's counsel unless the defendant has waived his right to counsel.

C.  With the consent of the district attorney the defendant may waive trial by jury within forty-five days prior to the commencement of trial.

D.  A waiver of trial by jury is irrevocable and cannot be withdrawn by the defendant.

Amended by Acts 1974, Ex.Sess., No. 24, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1975; Acts 1975, 1st Ex.Sess., No. 16, §1, eff. Jan. 28, 1975; Acts 1985, No. 801, §1; Acts 2013, No. 343, §1, eff. June 17, 2013.

Art. 781. Charges in cases tried without a jury

When a case is tried without a jury the state or the defendant may request the court to charge itself in accordance with written charges presented to the court.  The requested charges shall be governed by the rules of procedure relative to requested charges in jury cases.

Chapter 3. Trial by Jury

Section 1. General Provisions

Art. 782. Number of jurors composing jury;  number which must concur;  waiver

            A. A case in which punishment may be capital shall be tried by a jury of twelve jurors, all of whom must concur to render a verdict. A case for an offense committed prior to January 1, 2019, in which punishment is necessarily confinement at hard labor shall be tried by a jury composed of twelve jurors, ten of whom must concur to render a verdict. A case for an offense committed on or after January 1, 2019, in which the punishment is necessarily confinement at hard labor shall be tried before a jury of twelve persons, all of whom must concur to render a verdict. A case in which the punishment may be confinement at hard labor shall be tried by a jury composed of six jurors, all of whom must concur to render a verdict.

            B. Trial by jury may be knowingly and intelligently waived by the defendant except in capital cases.

            Amended by Acts 1974, Ex.Sess., No. 25, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1975; Acts 1975, 1st Ex.Sess., No. 16, §1, eff. Jan. 28, 1975; Acts 1979, No. 56, §2; Acts 2018, No. 493, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2019, if const. amend. is ratified.

Art. 783. Excusing, tendering, and attachment of members of the venire

A.  The court may excuse a member of the petit jury venire at any time prior to the time he is sworn as a juror to try a particular case.  The panel shall be selected from the remaining members of the petit jury venire.  The court, either on its own motion, or that of the state or a defendant, may order the attachment of an absent and unexcused petit jury venireman.

B.  If jury service, whether criminal or civil, would result in undue hardship or extreme inconvenience, the district court may excuse a person from such service either prior to or after his selection for the general venire, jury pool, or jury wheel.  The court may take such action on its own initiative or on recommendation of an official or employee designated by the court.

C.  No person or group of persons shall be automatically excused.

D.  In the event a person is excused because jury service would result in undue hardship or extreme inconvenience, the court may order that person's name be placed again in the general venire or in a central jury pool.

Amended by Acts 1976, No. 212, §2; Acts 1977, No. 378, §1.

Art. 784. Method of selecting panel

In selecting a panel, names shall be drawn from the petit jury venire indiscriminately and by lot in open court and in a manner to be determined by the court.

In those judicial district courts, including the Criminal District Court for the parish of Orleans, wherein use of a jury pool has been authorized by law, the petit jury panel shall be selected by random, indiscriminate choice in a manner to be determined by the rules of the court in which the jury panel is selected.

Amended by Acts 1977, No. 556, §1, eff. July 15, 1977.

Art. 785. Tales jurors

A.  In a parish other than Orleans having more than one division of court, holding petit jury terms simultaneously, when a petit jury venire of one division is or is about to be exhausted before a trial jury is impaneled, the judge of that division, with the consent of the judge of a division that has not exhausted its petit jury venire, may order the petit jury venire of the latter division or such portion thereof not being used by the latter division, to report to his division to serve as tales jurors.  The names of the petit jury veniremen so ordered to report shall be drawn as provided by Article 784 for examination as prospective trial jurors.  Those who are impaneled as trial jurors shall serve as though regularly selected as tales jurors.  Those who are not selected as trial jurors shall be ordered to report back to the division of court in which they were previously serving as petit jury veniremen.

B.  In all other instances, except as provided in Article 409.1 of this code, when the petit jury venire is or is about to be exhausted before a trial jury is impaneled, the judge may order the secretary of the jury commission or the clerk of court to draw indiscriminately and by lot such number of tales jurors from the general venire box as in the opinion of the court may be necessary to complete the impaneling of the trial jury.

C.  Immediately after the drawing of tales jurors, they shall be summoned to attend court at such time as the court may direct, and shall be subject to the same duties as petit jurors.

D.  In parishes other than Orleans, the judge may order the summoning of tales jurors from among the bystanders or persons in or about the courthouse, in place of the drawing of tales jurors.

E.  When called, tales jurors shall be selected for completion of the panel in accordance with Article 784.

Amended by Acts 1975, No. 406, §1; Acts 1975, No. 696, §1.

Art. 786. Examination of jurors

The court, the state, and the defendant shall have the right to examine prospective jurors.  The scope of the examination shall be within the discretion of the court.  A prospective juror, before being examined, shall be sworn to answer truthfully questions asked him relative to his qualifications to serve as a juror in the case.

Art. 787. Disqualification of petit jurors in particular cases

The court may disqualify a prospective petit juror from service in a particular case when for any reason doubt exists as to the competency of the prospective juror to serve in the case.

Art. 788. Tendering jurors

A.  After the examination provided by Article 786, a prospective juror may be tendered first to the state, which shall accept or challenge him.  If the state accepts the prospective juror, he shall be tendered to the defendant, who shall accept or challenge him.  When a prospective juror is accepted by the state and the defendant, he shall be sworn immediately as a juror.  This Article is subject to the provisions of Articles 795 and 796.

B.  If the court does not require tendering of jurors, it shall by local rule provide for a system of simultaneous exercise of challenges.

Acts 1983, No. 603, §1.

Art. 789. Alternate jurors

A.  The court may direct that not more than six jurors in addition to the regular panel be called and impaneled to sit as alternate jurors.  Alternate jurors, in the order in which they are called, shall replace jurors who become unable to perform or disqualified from performing their duties.  Alternate jurors shall be drawn in the same manner, shall have the same qualifications, shall be subject to the same examination and challenges for cause, shall take the same oath, and shall have the same functions, powers, facilities, and privileges as the principal jurors.  If the court determines that alternate jurors are desirable in the case, the court shall determine the number to be chosen.  The regular peremptory challenges allowed by law shall not be used against the alternate jurors.  The court shall determine how many additional peremptory challenges shall be allowed, and each defendant shall have an equal number of such challenges.  The state shall have as many peremptory challenges as the defense.  The additional peremptory challenges may be used only against alternate jurors.  Except in capital cases, an alternate juror who does not replace a principal juror may be discharged when the jury retires to consider its verdict.

B.  In a capital case, at the conclusion of the guilt phase of the trial, alternate jurors that have not replaced principal jurors shall not be discharged, but shall be sequestered from other members of the jury until the jury has reached a verdict.  If a sentencing hearing is mandated, the alternate jurors will be returned to the jury and will hear the evidence presented at the sentencing hearing and will be available to replace principal jurors.

C.  If the court, as provided in Paragraph A, replaces a principal juror with an alternate juror after deliberations have begun, the court shall order the jury to begin deliberations anew.

Acts 1995, No. 364, §1; Acts 1995, No. 1273, §1.

Art. 790. Swearing of jurors

When selection of jurors and alternate jurors has been completed, and all issues properly raised under Article 795 have been resolved, the jurors shall then be sworn together to try the case in a just and impartial manner, each to the best of his judgment, and to render a verdict according to the law and the evidence.

Acts 1990, No. 524, §1.

Art. 791. Sequestration of jurors and jury

A.  A jury is sequestered by being kept together in the charge of an officer of the court so as to be secluded from outside communication, except as permitted by R.S. 18:1307.2.

B.  In capital cases, after each juror is sworn he shall be sequestered, unless the state and the defense have jointly moved that the jury not be sequestered.

C.  In noncapital cases, the jury shall be sequestered after the court's charge and may be sequestered at any time upon order of the court.

Amended by Acts 1981, No. 475, §1; Acts 1995, No. 1172, §1; Acts 1995, No. 1277, §1.

Art. 792. Selection of foreman

When the jury has retired, the jurors shall select a foreman who shall preside over their deliberations and sign the verdict.

Art. 793. Use of evidence in jury room;  reading of recorded testimony;  jurors' notes

A.  Except as provided in Paragraph B of this Article, a juror must rely upon his memory in reaching a verdict.  He shall not be permitted to refer to notes or to have access to any written evidence.  Testimony shall not be repeated to the jury.  Upon the request of a juror and in the discretion of the court, the jury may take with it or have sent to it any object or document received in evidence when a physical examination thereof is required to enable the jury to arrive at a verdict.

B.  A juror shall be permitted to take notes when agreement to granting such permission has been made between the defendant and the state in open court but not within the presence of the jury.  The court shall provide the needed writing implements. Jurors may, but need not, take notes and such notes may be used during the jury's deliberations but shall not be preserved for review on appeal.  The trial judge shall ensure the confidentiality of the notes during the course of trial and the jury's deliberation and shall cause the notes to be destroyed immediately upon return of the verdict.

C.  The lack of consent by either the defendant or the state to allow a juror to take notes during a trial shall not be communicated to the jury.

Acts 2001, No. 465, §1.

Art. 794. Removal of jury

A.  The court may, and at the request of the state or a defendant shall, remove the jury from the courtroom when the court hears matters to be decided by the court alone.  The court may remove the jury from the courtroom at any time when considered in the best interest of justice.

B.  The removal of the jury when the court is asked to make rulings on evidentiary matters is controlled by the Louisiana Code of Evidence.

Acts 1988, No. 515, §3, eff. Jan. 1, 1989.

{{NOTE:  SEE ACTS 1988, NO. 515, §12.}}

Section 2. Challenges

Art. 795. Time for challenges;  method;  peremptory challenges based on race or gender;  restrictions

            A. A juror shall not be challenged for cause after having been temporarily accepted pursuant to Article 788(A) unless the challenging party shows that the cause was not known to him prior to that time.

            B.(1) Peremptory challenges shall be exercised prior to the swearing of the jury panel.

            (2) Peremptory challenges of jurors shall be made and communicated to the court in a side bar conference of the judge, the attorneys conducting the examination and selection of jurors, and the defendant in a case in which the defendant chooses to represent himself. The conference shall be conducted in a manner that only the court, the attorneys, and the defendant in a case in which the defendant chooses to represent himself, are aware of the challenges made until the court announces the challenges without reference to any party or attorney in the case.

            C. No peremptory challenge made by the state or the defendant shall be motivated in substantial part on the basis of the race or gender of the juror. If an objection is made that a challenge was motivated in substantial part on the basis of race or gender, and a prima facie case supporting that objection is made by the objecting party, the court shall demand a satisfactory race or gender neutral reason for the exercise of the challenge. Such demand and disclosure shall be made outside of the hearing of any juror or prospective juror. The court shall then determine whether the challenge was motivated in substantial part on the basis of race or gender.

            D. The court shall allow to stand each peremptory challenge exercised for a race or gender neutral reason either apparent from the examination or disclosed by counsel when required by the court. The provisions of Paragraph C of this Article and this Paragraph shall not apply when both the state and the defense have exercised a challenge against the same juror.

            E. The court shall allow to stand each peremptory challenge for which a satisfactory racially neutral or gender neutral reason is given. Those jurors who have been peremptorily challenged and for whom no satisfactory racially neutral or gender neutral reason is apparent or given may be ordered returned to the panel, or the court may take such other corrective action as it deems appropriate under the circumstances. The court shall make specific findings regarding each such challenge.

            Amended by Acts 1986, No. 323, §1; Acts 1990, No. 547, §1; Acts 1990, No. 713, §1; Acts 1993, No. 1019, §1; Acts 2008, No. 669, §1; Acts 2019, No. 235, §1.

 

Art. 796. Removal of juror after swearing

If it is discovered after a juror has been accepted and sworn, that he is incompetent to serve, the court may, at any time before the first witness is sworn, order the juror removed and the panel completed in the ordinary course.

Art. 797. Challenge for cause

The state or the defendant may challenge a juror for cause on the ground that:

(1)  The juror lacks a qualification required by law;

(2)  The juror is not impartial, whatever the cause of his partiality.  An opinion or impression as to the guilt or innocence of the defendant shall not of itself be sufficient ground of challenge to a juror, if he declares, and the court is satisfied, that he can render an impartial verdict according to the law and the evidence;

(3)  The relationship, whether by blood, marriage, employment, friendship, or enmity between the juror and the defendant, the person injured by the offense, the district attorney, or defense counsel, is such that it is reasonable to conclude that it would influence the juror in arriving at a verdict;

(4)  The juror will not accept the law as given to him by the court; or

(5)  The juror served on the grand jury that found the indictment, or on a petit jury that once tried the defendant for the same or any other offense.

Art. 798. Causes for challenge by the state

It is good cause for challenge on the part of the state, but not on the part of the defendant, that:

(1)  The juror is biased against the enforcement of the statute charged to have been violated, or is of the fixed opinion that the statute is invalid or unconstitutional;

(2)  The juror tendered in a capital case who has conscientious scruples against the infliction of capital punishment and makes it known:

(a)  That he would automatically vote against the imposition of capital punishment without regard to any evidence that might be developed at the trial of the case before him;

(b)  That his attitude toward the death penalty would prevent or substantially impair him from making an impartial decision as a juror in accordance with his instructions and his oath; or

(c)  That his attitude toward the death penalty would prevent him from making an impartial decision as to the defendant's guilt; or

(3)  The juror would not convict upon circumstantial evidence.

Amended by Acts 1968, Ex.Sess., No. 13, §1, emerg.  eff. Dec. 27, 1968, at 1:00 P.M; Acts 1990, No. 366, §1.

Art. 799. Number of peremptory challenges

In trials of offenses punishable by death or necessarily by imprisonment at hard labor, each defendant shall have twelve peremptory challenges, and the state twelve for each defendant.  In all other cases, each defendant shall have six peremptory challenges, and the state six for each defendant.

Acts 1983, No. 495, §1; Acts 1985, No. 952, §1.

Art. 799.1. Challenges;  use of all available challenges

Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, and specifically notwithstanding the provisions of Article 788, in the jury selection process, the state and the defendant may exercise all peremptory challenges available to each side, respectively, prior to the full complement of jurors being seated and before being sworn in by the court, and the state or the defendant may exercise any remaining peremptory challenge to one or more of the jurors previously accepted.  No juror shall be sworn in until both parties agree on the jury composition or have exercised all challenges available to them, unless otherwise agreed to by the parties.

Acts 2006, No. 71, §1.

Art. 800. Objection to ruling on challenge for cause

           A. A defendant may not assign as error a ruling refusing to sustain a challenge for cause made by him, unless an objection thereto is made at the time of the ruling. The nature of the objection and grounds therefor shall be stated at the time of objection.

           B. The erroneous allowance to the state of a challenge for cause does not afford the defendant a ground for complaint, unless the effect of such ruling is the exercise by the state of more peremptory challenges than it is entitled to by law.

           Acts 1983, No. 181, §1.

Section 3. Charging the Jury

Art. 801. Time for charge;  when written charge required

A.  The court shall charge the jury after the presentation of all evidence and arguments.  The court shall reduce its charge to writing if it is requested to do so by either a defendant or the state prior to the swearing of the first witness at the trial on the merits.  The court's written charge shall be read to the jury. The court shall deliver a copy thereof to the defendant and to the state prior to reading it to the jury.

B.(1)  After such written charge is read to the jury, a copy of the written charge shall be delivered to the jury if such delivery is consented to by both the defendant and the state in open court but not in the presence of the jury.

(2)  The lack of consent by either the defendant or the state to the delivery of the written charge to the jury shall not be communicated to the jury.

C.  A party may not assign as error the giving or failure to give a jury charge or any portion thereof unless an objection thereto is made before the jury retires or within such time as the court may reasonably cure the alleged error.  The nature of the objection and grounds therefor shall be stated at the time of objection. The court shall give the party an opportunity to make the objection out of the presence of the jury.

Amended by Acts 1982, No. 458, §1; Acts 2001, No. 310, §1.

Art. 802. General charge;  scope

The court shall charge the jury:

(1)  As to the law applicable to the case;

(2)  That the jury is the judge of the law and of the facts on the question of guilt or innocence, but that it has the duty to accept and to apply the law as given by the court; and

(3)  That the jury alone shall determine the weight and credibility of the evidence.

Art. 803. Same;  charge as to included minor offenses and plea of insanity

When a count in an indictment sets out an offense which includes other offenses of which the accused could be found guilty under the provisions of Article 814 or 815, the court shall charge the jury as to the law applicable to each offense.

When a defendant has specially pleaded insanity in accordance with Article 552, the court shall charge the jury with respect to the law applicable thereto.

Art. 804. Same;  charge as to presumption of innocence, reasonable doubt, and several grades of offense

A.  In all cases the court shall charge the jury that:

(1)  A person accused of crime is presumed by law to be innocent until each element of the crime, necessary to constitute his guilt, is proven beyond a reasonable doubt;

(2)  It is the duty of the jury, in considering the evidence and in applying to that evidence the law as given by the court, to give the defendant the benefit of every reasonable doubt arising out of the evidence or out of the lack of evidence in the case; and

(3)  It is the duty of the jury if not convinced of the guilt of a defendant beyond a reasonable doubt, to find him not guilty.

The court may, but is not required to, define "the presumption of innocence" or "reasonable doubt" or give any other or further charge upon the same than that contained in this article.

B.  When there are several grades of an offense contained in a single count, the court shall charge the jury as to each grade of which the defendant could be found guilty.  The court shall in that case also charge the jury that if it has a reasonable doubt as to any or all grades of the offense charged it shall find the defendant not guilty of that grade, or all grades of the offense, as the case may be.

Amended by Acts 1968, No. 144, §1.

Art. 805. Same;  charge as to verdict acquitting on account of insanity

The court shall charge the jury that if it acquits a defendant on account of a plea of insanity it shall state that the defendant was found not guilty by reason of insanity.

Art. 806. Prohibited charges

The court shall not charge the jury concerning the facts of the case and shall not comment upon the facts of the case, either by commenting upon or recapitulating the evidence, repeating the testimony of any witness, or giving an opinion as to what has been proved, not proved, or refuted.

 

Art. 807. Special written charges

The state and the defendant shall have the right before argument to submit to the court special written charges for the jury.  Such charges may be received by the court in its discretion after argument has begun.  The party submitting the charges shall furnish a copy of the charges to the other party when the charges are submitted to the court.

A requested special charge shall be given by the court if it does not require qualification, limitation, or explanation, and if it is wholly correct and pertinent.  It need not be given if it is included in the general charge or in another special charge to be given.

Art. 808. Manner of giving further charges after jury retires

If the jury or any member thereof, after having retired to deliberate upon the verdict, desires further charges, the officer in charge shall bring the jury into the courtroom, and the court shall in the presence of the defendant, his counsel, and the district attorney, further charge the jury.  The further charge may be verbal, but shall be in writing if requested by any juror.  No charge shall be reduced to writing at the request of a juror pursuant to this Article unless consent is obtained from both the defendant and the state in open court but not within the presence of the jury.  The lack of consent by either the defendant or the state shall not be communicated to the jury.  A copy of the court's written charge shall be delivered to the defendant, the state, and the jury.

Acts 2001, No. 310, §1.

Chapter 4. Verdicts

Art. 809. Judge to give jury written list of responsive verdicts

After charging the jury, the judge shall give the jury a written list of the verdicts responsive to each offense charged, with each separately stated.  The list shall be taken into the jury room for use by the jury during its deliberation.

Art. 810. Form of verdict;  delivery of verdict

When a verdict has been agreed upon, the foreman shall write the verdict on the back of the list of responsive verdicts given to the jury and shall sign it.  There shall be no formal requirement as to the language of the verdict except that it shall clearly convey the intention of the jury.

The foreman of the jury shall deliver the verdict to the judge in open court.

Art. 811. Receipt and recordation of verdict

If the verdict is correct in form and responsive to the indictment, the court shall order the clerk to receive the verdict, to read it to the jury, and to ask: "Is that your verdict?" If the jury answer "Yes," the court shall order the clerk to record the verdict and shall discharge the jury.

Art. 812. Same;  polling and disposition of jury

            A. The court shall order the clerk to poll the jury if requested by the state or the defendant. The poll shall be conducted in writing by applying the procedures of this Article, and shall be done in open court.

            B.(1) The procedure for the written polling of the jury shall require that the clerk hand to each juror a separate piece of paper containing the name of the juror and the words "Is this your verdict?" Each juror shall write on the slip of paper the words "Yes" or "No" along with his signature. The clerk shall collect the slips of paper, make them available for inspection by the court and counsel, and record the results.

            (2) If a sufficient number of jurors as required by law to reach a verdict answer "yes" the clerk shall so inform the court. Upon verification of the results, the court shall order the clerk to record the verdict and order the jury discharged. If an insufficient number required to find a verdict answer "Yes," the court may remand the jury for further deliberation, or the court may declare a mistrial in accordance with Article 775. The polling slips may be placed under seal upon order of the court, which shall state the specific reasons for placing the polling slips under seal. If so ordered the polling slips shall not be released to the public without a subsequent order of the court authorizing their release. If the court orders the release of the polling slips, the names of the jurors shall be redacted.

            Amended by Acts 1975, No. 475, §1; Acts 2018, No. 335, §1.

Art. 813. Improper verdict;  procedure

If the court finds that the verdict is incorrect in form or is not responsive to the indictment, it shall refuse to receive it, and shall remand the jury with the necessary oral instructions.  In such a case the court shall read the verdict, and record the reasons for refusal.

Art. 814. Responsive verdicts;  in particular

            A. The only responsive verdicts which may be rendered when the indictment charges the following offenses are:

            1. First Degree Murder:

            Guilty.

            Guilty of second degree murder.

            Guilty of manslaughter.

            Not guilty.

            2. Attempted First Degree Murder:

            Guilty.

            Guilty of attempted second degree murder.

            Guilty of attempted manslaughter.

            Guilty of aggravated battery.

            Guilty of aggravated assault with a firearm.

            Not guilty.

            3. Second Degree Murder:

            Guilty.

            Guilty of manslaughter.

            Guilty of negligent homicide.

            Not guilty.

            4. Attempted Second Degree Murder:

            Guilty.

            Guilty of attempted manslaughter.

            Guilty of aggravated battery.

            Guilty of aggravated assault with a firearm.

            Not guilty.

            5. Manslaughter:

            Guilty.

            Guilty of negligent homicide.

            Not guilty.

            6. Attempted Manslaughter:

            Guilty.

            Guilty of aggravated battery.

            Not guilty.

            7. Negligent Homicide:

            Guilty.

            Not guilty.

            8. Vehicular homicide:

            Guilty.

            Guilty of negligent homicide.

            Not guilty.

            9. Vehicular negligent injuring:

            Guilty.

            Guilty of negligent injuring.

            Guilty of operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

            Not guilty.

            10. First degree vehicular negligent injuring:

            Guilty.

            Guilty of vehicular negligent injuring.

            Guilty of negligent injuring.

            Guilty of operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

            Not guilty.

            11. First degree rape (formerly titled aggravated rape):

            Guilty.

            Guilty of attempted first degree rape.

            Guilty of second degree rape.

            Guilty of attempted second degree rape.

            Guilty of sexual battery.

            Guilty of third degree rape.

            Guilty of attempted third degree rape.

            Guilty of oral sexual battery.

            Not guilty.

            12. First degree rape (formerly titled aggravated rape) of a child under the age of thirteen:

            Guilty.

            Guilty of attempted first degree rape.

            Guilty of second degree rape.

            Guilty of attempted second degree rape.

            Guilty of third degree rape.

            Guilty of attempted third degree rape.

            Guilty of sexual battery.

            Guilty of molestation of a juvenile or a person with a physical or mental disability.

            Guilty of attempted molestation of a juvenile or a person with a physical or mental disability.

            Guilty of indecent behavior with a juvenile.

            Guilty of attempted indecent behavior with a juvenile.

            Not guilty.

            13. Attempted first degree rape (formerly titled aggravated rape):

            Guilty.

            Guilty of attempted second degree rape.

            Guilty of attempted third degree rape.

            Not guilty.

            14. Second degree rape (formerly titled forcible rape):

            Guilty.

            Guilty of attempted second degree rape.

            Guilty of third degree rape.

            Guilty of attempted third degree rape.

            Guilty of sexual battery.

            Not guilty.

            15. Attempted second degree rape (formerly titled forcible rape):

            Guilty.

            Guilty of attempted third degree rape.

            Not guilty.

            16. Third degree rape (formerly titled simple rape):

            Guilty.

            Guilty of attempted third degree rape.

            Guilty of sexual battery.

            Not guilty.

            17. Attempted third degree rape (formerly titled simple rape):

            Guilty.

            Not guilty.

            18. Aggravated Battery:

            Guilty.

            Guilty of second degree battery.

            Guilty of simple battery.

            Not guilty.

            19. Disarming of a Peace Officer:

            Guilty.

            Guilty of attempted disarming of a peace officer.

            Guilty of battery of a police officer.

            Guilty of aggravated assault.

            Not guilty.

            20. Aggravated Second Degree Battery:

            Guilty.

            Guilty of aggravated battery.

            Guilty of second degree battery.

            Guilty of simple battery.

            Not guilty.

            21. Second Degree Battery:

            Guilty.

            Guilty of simple battery.

            Not guilty.

            22. Vehicular negligent injuring:

            Guilty.

            Not guilty.

            23. Aggravated Assault:

            Guilty.

            Guilty of simple assault.

            Not guilty.

            24. Simple Battery:

            Guilty.

            Not guilty.

            25. Aggravated Kidnapping:

            Guilty.

            Guilty of attempted aggravated kidnapping.

            Guilty of second degree kidnapping.

            Guilty of attempted second degree kidnapping.

            Guilty of simple kidnapping.

            Guilty of attempted simple kidnapping.

            Not guilty.

            26. Attempted Aggravated Kidnapping:

            Guilty.

            Guilty of attempted second degree kidnapping.

            Guilty of attempted simple kidnapping.

            Not guilty.

            27. Simple Kidnapping:

            Guilty.

            Guilty of attempted simple kidnapping.

            Not guilty.

            28. Attempted Simple Kidnapping:

            Guilty.

            Not guilty.

            29. Armed Robbery:

            Guilty.

            Guilty of attempted armed robbery.

            Guilty of first degree robbery.

            Guilty of attempted first degree robbery.

            Guilty of simple robbery.

            Guilty of attempted simple robbery.

            Not guilty.

            30. Attempted Armed Robbery:

            Guilty.

            Guilty of attempted first degree robbery.

            Guilty of attempted simple robbery.

            Not guilty.

            31. First Degree Robbery:

            Guilty.

            Guilty of attempted first degree robbery.

            Guilty of simple robbery.

            Guilty of attempted simple robbery.

            Not guilty.

            32. Simple Robbery:

            Guilty.

            Guilty of attempted simple robbery.

            Not guilty.

            33. Attempted Simple Robbery:

            Guilty.

            Not guilty.

            34. Theft:

            Guilty of theft of property having a value of twenty-five thousand dollars or more.

            Guilty of theft of property having a value of five thousand dollars or more, but less than twenty-five thousand dollars.

            Guilty of theft of property having a value of one thousand dollars or more, but less than five thousand dollars.

            Guilty of theft of property having a value of less than one thousand dollars.

            Guilty of attempted theft of property having a value of twenty-five thousand dollars or more.

            Guilty of attempted theft of property having a value of five thousand dollars or more, but less than twenty-five thousand dollars.

            Guilty of attempted theft of property having a value of one thousand dollars or more, but less than five thousand dollars.

            Guilty of attempted theft of property having a value of less than one thousand dollars.

            Guilty of unauthorized use of movables having a value in excess of one thousand dollars.

            Guilty of unauthorized use of movables having a value of one thousand dollars or less.

            Not guilty.

            35. Attempted Theft:

            Guilty of attempted theft of property having a value of twenty-five thousand dollars or more.

            Guilty of attempted theft of property having a value of five thousand dollars or more, but less than twenty-five thousand dollars.

            Guilty of attempted theft of property having a value of one thousand dollars or more, but less than five thousand dollars.

            Guilty of attempted theft of property having a value of less than one thousand dollars.

            Guilty of attempted unauthorized use of movables having a value in excess of one thousand dollars.

            Guilty of attempted unauthorized use of movables having a value of one thousand dollars or less.

            Not guilty.

            36. Aggravated Arson:

            Guilty.

            Guilty of simple arson where the damage amounted to five hundred dollars or more.

            Guilty of simple arson where the damage amounted to less than five hundred dollars.

            The simple arson verdicts are responsive only if the words "belonging to another and with damage amounting to __________ dollars" are included in the indictment.

            Not guilty.

            37. Attempted Aggravated Arson:

            Guilty.

            Guilty of attempted simple arson where the damage would have amounted to five hundred dollars or more.

            Guilty of attempted simple arson where the damage would have amounted to less than five hundred dollars.

            The attempted simple arson verdicts are responsive only if the words "belonging to another and with damage that would have amounted to __________ dollars" are included in the indictment.

            Not guilty.

            38. Simple Arson:

            Guilty of simple arson where the damage done amounted to five hundred dollars or more.

            Guilty of simple arson where the damage done amounted to less than five hundred dollars.

            Not guilty.

            39. Attempted Simple Arson:

            Guilty of attempted arson where the damage would have amounted to five hundred dollars or more.

            Guilty of attempted simple arson where the damage would have amounted to less than five hundred dollars.

            Not guilty.

            40. Arson With Intent to Defraud:

            Guilty.

            Not guilty.

            41. Attempted Arson With Intent to Defraud:

            Guilty.

            Not guilty.

            42. Aggravated Criminal Damage to Property:

            Guilty.

            Guilty of simple criminal damage to property where the damage amounted to fifty thousand dollars or more.

            Guilty of simple criminal damage to property where the damage amounted to one thousand dollars or more, but less than fifty thousand dollars.

            Guilty of simple criminal damage to property where the damage amounted to less than one thousand dollars.

            The simple criminal damage to property verdicts are responsive only if the words "belonging to another and with damage amounting to __________ dollars" are included in the indictment.

            Not guilty.

            43. Attempted Aggravated Criminal Damage to Property:

            Guilty.

            Guilty of attempted simple criminal damage to property where the damage would have amounted to fifty thousand dollars or more.

            Guilty of attempted simple criminal damage to property where the damage would have amounted to one thousand dollars or more, but less than fifty thousand dollars.

            Guilty of attempted simple criminal damage to property where the damage would have amounted to less than one thousand dollars.

            The attempted simple criminal damage to property verdicts are responsive only if the words "belonging to another and with damage that would have amounted to __________ dollars" are included in the indictment.

            Not guilty.

            44. Simple Criminal Damage to Property:

            Guilty of simple criminal damage to property where the damage done amounted to fifty thousand dollars or more.

            Guilty of simple criminal damage to property where the damage done amounted to one thousand dollars or more, but less than fifty thousand dollars.

            Guilty of simple criminal damage to property where the damage done amounted to less than one thousand dollars.

            Not guilty.

            45. Attempted Simple Criminal Damage to Property:

            Guilty of attempted simple criminal damage to property where the damage would have amounted to fifty thousand dollars or more.

            Guilty of attempted simple criminal damage to property where the damage would have amounted to one thousand dollars or more, but less than fifty thousand dollars.

            Guilty of attempted simple criminal damage to property where the damage would have amounted to less than one thousand dollars.

            Not guilty.

            46. Damage to Property With Intent to Defraud:

            Guilty.

            Not guilty.

            47. Attempted Damage to Property With Intent to Defraud:

            Guilty.

            Not guilty.

            48. Aggravated Burglary:

            Guilty.

            Guilty of attempted aggravated burglary.

            Guilty of simple burglary.

            Guilty of attempted simple burglary.

            Guilty of simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling.

            Guilty of attempted simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling.

            Guilty of unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling.

            Guilty of attempted unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling.

            Not guilty.

            49. Attempted Aggravated Burglary:

            Guilty.

            Guilty of attempted simple burglary.

            Guilty of attempted simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling.

            Guilty of attempted unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling.

            Not guilty.

            50. Simple Burglary:

            Guilty.

            Guilty of attempted simple burglary.

            Guilty of unauthorized entry of a place of business.

            Guilty of attempted unauthorized entry of a place of business.

            Not guilty.

            51. Simple Burglary of an Inhabited Dwelling:

            Guilty.

            Guilty of attempted simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling.

            Guilty of unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling.

            Guilty of attempted unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling.

            Not guilty.

            52. Attempted Simple Burglary:

            Guilty.

            Not guilty.

            53. Aggravated Flight from an Officer:

            Guilty.

            Guilty of flight from an officer.

            Not guilty.

            54. Contamination of Water Supplies:

            Guilty of contaminating water supplies when the act foreseeably endangered the life or health of human beings.

            Guilty of contaminating water supplies when the act did not foreseeably endanger the life or health of human beings.

            Not guilty.

            55. Attempted Contamination of Water Supplies:

            Guilty of attempted contamination of water supplies when the act would foreseeably endanger the life or health of human beings.

            Guilty of attempted contamination of water supplies when the act would not foreseeably endanger the life or health of human beings.

            Not guilty.

            56. Production, Manufacture, Distribution or Dispensation of Controlled Dangerous Substances:

            Guilty.

            Guilty of attempted production, manufacture, distribution or dispensation of controlled dangerous substances.

            Guilty of possession of controlled dangerous substances.

            Guilty of attempted possession of controlled dangerous substances.

            Not guilty.

            57. Possession of Controlled Dangerous Substances With Intent to Produce, Manufacture, Distribute, or Dispense:

            Guilty.

            Guilty of attempted possession of controlled dangerous substances with intent to produce, manufacture, distribute, or dispense.

            Guilty of possession of controlled dangerous substances.

            Guilty of attempted possession of controlled dangerous substances.

            Not guilty.

            58. Possession of Controlled Dangerous Substances:

            Guilty.

            Guilty of attempted possession of controlled dangerous substances.

            Not guilty.

            59. Possession of Cocaine:

            Guilty.

            Guilty of attempted possession of cocaine.

            Guilty of possession of drug paraphernalia.

            Not guilty.

            The possession of drug paraphernalia verdict is responsive only if there is evidence of drug paraphernalia, as defined in R.S. 40:1021, in the charged offense of possession of cocaine.

            60. Attempted Production or Manufacture of Controlled Dangerous Substances:

            Guilty.

Guilty of attempted possession of controlled dangerous substances.

            Not guilty.

            61. Attempted Distribution or Dispensation of Controlled Dangerous Substances:

            Guilty.

            Guilty of possession of controlled dangerous substances.

            Guilty of attempted possession of controlled dangerous substances.

            Not guilty.

            62. Attempted Possession of Controlled Dangerous Substances With Intent to Produce, Manufacture, Distribute or Dispense:

            Guilty.

            Guilty of attempted possession of controlled dangerous substances.

            Not guilty.

            63. Creation or Distribution of Counterfeit Controlled Dangerous Substances:

            Guilty.

            Guilty of attempted creation or distribution of counterfeit controlled dangerous substances.

            Not guilty.

            64. Possession of Counterfeit Controlled Dangerous Substances With Intent to Distribute:

            Guilty.

            Guilty of attempted possession of counterfeit controlled dangerous substances with intent to distribute.

            Not guilty.

            65. Attempted Creation, Distribution, or Possession of Counterfeit Controlled Dangerous Substances With Intent to Distribute:

            Guilty.

            Not guilty.

            66. Conspiracy to Violate any Provision of the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Law:

            Guilty.

            Not guilty.

            67. Cruelty to Persons with Infirmities:

            Guilty.

            Guilty of attempted cruelty to persons with infirmities.

            Guilty of simple battery.

            Guilty of assault.

            Guilty of negligent injuring.

            Not guilty.

            68. Solicitation of Crime Against Nature:

            Guilty.

            Guilty of attempted solicitation of crime against nature.

            Guilty of prostitution.

            Not guilty.

            B.(1) Except as provided in Paragraph A of this Article, responsive verdicts in any other cases arising under the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Law shall be governed by Article 815 of this Code.

            (2) For purposes of this Article and Article 815, for any offense arising under the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Law that is graded according to the weight of the substance, the responsive verdicts shall include grades of the offense that are based upon lesser weights than the weight of the substance that is charged in the indictment.

            C. Upon motion of the state or the defendant, or on its own motion, the court shall exclude a responsive verdict listed in Paragraph A if, after all the evidence has been submitted, the evidence, viewed in a light most favorable to the state, is not sufficient reasonably to permit a finding of guilty of the responsive offense.

            D. Where an offense is graded according to property value or amount of damage, the responsive verdicts shall not include a grade of the offense that is greater than the property value or amount of damage charged in the indictment.

            Amended by Acts 1973, No. 126, §1; Acts 1975, No. 334, §1; Acts 1975, No. 335, §1; Acts 1975, No. 336, §§1, 2; Acts 1976, No. 85, §1; Acts 1978, No. 247, §1; Acts 1982, No. 763, §1. Amended by Acts 1983, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 28, §1; Acts 1983, No. 633, §1; Acts 1983, No. 635, §1; Acts 1985, No. 791, §1; Acts 1985, No. 799, §1; Acts 1986, No. 646, §1; Acts 1988, No. 926, §1; Acts. 1988, No. 927, §1; Acts 1988, No. 928, §1; Acts 1991, No. 465, §1; Acts 1992, No. 307, §1; Acts 1995, No. 403, §2, eff. June 17, 1995; Acts 1997, No. 400, §1; Acts 1997, No. 558, §1; Acts 1997, No. 865, §1; Acts 2001, No. 321, §1; Acts 2001, No. 1093, §1; Acts 2003, No. 164, §1; Acts 2003, No. 623, §1; Acts 2003, No. 720, §1; Acts 2004, No. 739, §1; Acts 2006, No. 52, §1; Acts 2006, No. 235, §1; Acts 2010, No. 396, §2; Acts 2014, No. 61, §1; Acts 2014, No. 255, §§2, 4, and 5; Acts 2014, No. 811, §31, eff. June 23, 2014; Acts 2015, No. 184, §6; Acts 2018, No. 680, §1.

Art. 815. Responsive verdicts;  in general

In all cases not provided for in Article 814, the following verdicts are responsive:

(1)  Guilty;

(2)  Guilty of a lesser and included grade of the offense even though the offense charged is a felony, and the lesser offense a misdemeanor; or

(3)  Not Guilty.

Art. 816. Verdict acquitting on account of insanity

In addition to the responsive verdicts in Articles 814 and 815, a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity is responsive if a defendant has specially pleaded insanity in accordance with Article 552.

Art. 817. Qualifying verdicts

            A. Except as provided in Paragraph B of this Article, any qualification of or addition to a verdict of guilty, beyond a specification of the offense as to which the verdict is found, is without effect upon the finding.

            B. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, in addition to a specification of the offense as to which the verdict is found pursuant to Paragraph A of this Article, any fact that increases the maximum or mandatory minimum penalty for a crime, other than the fact of a prior conviction, may be submitted to the jury, and the verdict may include a specific finding of fact as to that issue.

            Amended by Acts 1972, No. 502, §1; Acts 1973, No. 125, §1; Acts 2019, No. 326, §1, eff. June 11, 2019.

Art. 818. Separate verdict for each defendant

If there is more than one defendant on trial, the verdict shall name each defendant and the finding as to him.

Art. 819. Separate verdict for each count

If there is more than one count in an indictment, the jury must find a verdict as to each count, unless it cannot agree on a verdict as to a count.

Art. 820. Application of chapter to cases tried without a jury

All provisions of this Chapter regulating the responsiveness and effect of verdicts shall apply to cases tried without a jury.

Art. 821. Motion for post verdict judgment of acquittal

A.  The defendant may move for a post verdict judgment of acquittal following the verdict.  A motion for a post verdict judgment of acquittal must be made and disposed of before sentence.

B.  A post verdict judgment of acquittal shall be granted only if the court finds that the evidence, viewed in a light most favorable to the state, does not reasonably permit a finding of guilty.

C.  If the court finds that the evidence, viewed in a light most favorable to the state, supports only a conviction of a lesser included responsive offense, the court, in lieu of granting a post verdict judgment of acquittal, may modify the verdict and render a judgment of conviction on the lesser included responsive offense.

D.  If a post verdict judgment of acquittal is granted or if a verdict is modified, the state may seek review by invoking the supervisory jurisdiction of or by appealing to the appropriate appellate court.

E.  If the appellate court finds that the evidence, viewed in a light most favorable to the state, supports only a conviction of a lesser included responsive offense, the court, in lieu of granting a post verdict judgment of acquittal, may modify the verdict and render a judgment of conviction on the lesser included responsive offense.

Added by Acts 1982, No. 144, §1.

Art. 822. Motion for amending or modifying sentence

A.(1)  Should the court on its own motion or on motion of the defendant consider setting aside a guilty verdict or a plea of guilty or, after the sentence is imposed, consider amending or modifying the sentence imposed, the district attorney shall be notified and the motion shall be tried contradictorily with the district attorney unless the district attorney waives such contradictory hearing.

(2)  Such motions include but are not limited to motions for a new trial, motions in arrest of judgment, motions for amendment, modification, or reconsideration of sentence, and motions for modification of conditions of probation or termination of probation.

B.  Additionally, if at any time after sentence is imposed, the defendant seeks the production of all or any portion of the district attorney's file in a criminal proceeding, the request for production shall be presented by written motion, which shall be tried contradictorily with the district attorney.

C.  Each motion to set aside a guilty verdict or plea of guilty and each motion to amend or modify a sentence imposed shall be filed, considered, and decided in compliance with Code of Criminal Procedure Articles 881 and 881.1.

Acts 1997, No. 1321, §1; Acts 2001, No. 937, §1.

Title XXVII. Presence of Defendant

Art. 831. Presence of defendant;  felony prosecution
A. Except as may be provided by local rules of court in accordance with Articles 522, 551, and 562, a defendant charged with a felony shall be present at all of the following:
(1) At arraignment.
(2) When a plea of guilty, not guilty, or not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity is made.
(3) At the calling, examination, challenging, impaneling, and swearing of the jury, and at any subsequent proceedings for the discharge of the jury or of a juror.
(4) At all times during the trial when the court is determining and ruling on the admissibility of evidence.
(5) In trials by jury, at all proceedings when the jury is present, and in trials without a jury, at all times when evidence is being adduced.
(6) At the rendition of the verdict or judgment, unless he voluntarily absents himself.

B. Repealed by Acts 2020, No. 160, §2.

Acts 1990, No. 543, §1; Acts 1990, No. 593, §1; Acts 1997, No. 1015, §1; Acts 2017, No. 406, §1; Acts 2020, No. 160, §2.
Art. 832. Continued presence not required
A. A defendant initially present for the commencement of trial shall not prevent the further progress of the trial, including the return of the verdict, and shall be considered to have waived his right to be present if his counsel is present or if the right to counsel has been waived and either of the following occur:
(1) He voluntarily absents himself after the trial has commenced, whether or not he has been informed by the court of his obligation to be present during the trial.
(2) After being warned by the court that disruptive conduct will cause him to be removed from the courtroom, he persists in conduct which justifies his exclusion from the courtroom.

B. Repealed by Acts 2020, No. 160, §2.

Acts 1990, No. 543, §1; Acts 1990, No. 593, §1; Acts 1997, No. 718, §1; Acts 2017, No. 406, §1; Acts 2020, No. 160, §2.
Art. 833. Presence of defendant;  misdemeanor prosecution
A. The court may permit a defendant charged with a misdemeanor to be arraigned, enter his plea of guilty, or be tried, in his absence.

B. A plea of not guilty of a misdemeanor may always be entered through counsel and in the absence of the defendant.

C. Repealed by Acts 2020, No. 160, §2.

Acts 1990, No. 543, §1; Acts 1990, No. 593, §1; Acts 1997, No. 1015, §1; Acts 2017, No. 406, §1; Acts 2020, No. 160, §2.
Art. 834. When presence of defendant not necessary

The defendant has a right to be present, but his presence is not essential to the validity of any of the following proceedings in a criminal prosecution:

(1)  The making, hearing of, or ruling on a preliminary motion or application addressed to the court;

(2)  The making, hearing of, or ruling on a motion or application addressed to the court during the trial when the jury is not present; except as provided in Clause (4) of Article 831; and

(3)  The making, hearing of, or ruling on a motion or application made after his conviction.

Art. 835. Presence of defendant at pronouncement of sentence

A. Except as provided in Paragraph B of this Article, in felony cases the defendant shall always be present when sentence is pronounced and, in misdemeanor cases, the defendant shall be present when sentence is pronounced unless excused by the court. If a sentence is improperly pronounced in the defendant's absence, he shall be resentenced when his presence is secured.

B. Nothing in this Article prohibits the court, by local rule, from providing for a defendant's appearance at the pronouncement of sentence by simultaneous audio-visual transmission in accordance with the provisions of Article 562.

Amended by Acts 2020, No. 160, §1.

Art. 836. Presence of corporation or association

When a corporation, partnership, or other association is a defendant, the requirements of this Title are fulfilled if its counsel is present.

Title XXVIII. Bill of Exceptions

Art. 841. Bill of exceptions unnecessary;  objections required

A.  An irregularity or error cannot be availed of after verdict unless it was objected to at the time of occurrence.  A bill of exceptions to rulings or orders is unnecessary.  It is sufficient that a party, at the time the ruling or order of the court is made or sought, makes known to the court the action which he desires the court to take, or of his objections to the action of the court, and the grounds therefor.

B.  The requirement of an objection shall not apply to the court's ruling on any written motion.

C.  The necessity for and specificity of evidentiary objections are governed by the Louisiana Code of Evidence.

Amended by Acts 1974, No. 207, §1; Acts 1988, No. 515, §3, eff. Jan. 1, 1989.

{{NOTE:  SEE ACTS 1988, NO. 515, §12.}}

Art. 842. Codefendants;  presumption as to objections

If an objection has been made when more than one defendant is on trial, it shall be presumed, unless the contrary appears, that the objection has been made by all the defendants.

Amended by Acts 1974, No. 207, §1.

Art. 843. Recording of proceedings

In felony cases, in cases involving violation of an ordinance enacted pursuant to R.S. 14:143(B), and on motion of the court, the state, or the defendant in other misdemeanor cases tried in a district, parish, or city court, the clerk or court stenographer shall record all of the proceedings, including the examination of prospective jurors, the testimony of witnesses, statements, rulings, orders, and charges by the court, and objections, questions, statements, and arguments of counsel.

Amended by Acts 1974, No. 207, §1; Acts 1975, No. 118, §1, eff. July 7, 1975; Acts 2001, No. 944, §3.

Art. 844. Assignment of errors;  sanctions for failure to file timely

A.  The party appealing shall file with the appellate court a written designation of those errors which are to be urged on appeal and furnish a copy to the trial judge and all counsel.  This assignment of errors shall be filed in accordance with the uniform rules of the appropriate appellate court.

B.  If the appellant fails to comply with these provisions and fails to secure an extension in accordance with Article 916(1), the trial judge on his own motion or motion of the clerk or any party or upon referral by the appellate court and after hearing shall either:

(1)  Extend the time within which the assignment of errors shall be filed.

(2)  Impose a fine not to exceed five hundred dollars upon the appellant or his attorney or both if the failure is found by the court to be arbitrary and capricious.

C.  If the record is not lodged in the appellate court within sixty days after the motion for the appeal is made or within the extended time granted by the proper court or if the record is lodged in the appellate court without an assignment of errors, the appellate court may adjudge the appellant, his attorney, or both guilty of contempt of court and impose a punishment authorized by law.

D.  The trial judge may submit such per curiam comments as he desires.

Amended by Acts 1974, No. 207, §1; Acts 1980, No. 537, §1; Acts 1981, No. 296, §1; Acts 1984, No. 527, §1; Acts 1997, No. 642, §1.