Tennessee Pattern Jury Instructions — Criminal

The TPI-Criminal Committee of the Tennessee Judicial Conference provides the following information as a service to Tennessee judges and lawyers. Please be aware that this is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.

The Tennessee Judicial Conference's TPI Criminal Committee updated/created several instructions following West's publication of the 17th Edition of the pattern jury instructions. The AOC's memorandum (updated 5/14/14) explains the changes and includes a "with comments and footnotes" version of the instructions which are completely new or substantially revised. A Word and WordPerfect "without comments and footnotes" version of every new/amended instruction can be accessed through the Updates to Instructions link, which is located on the panel to the left.  If the Committee changed the text of a footnote and/or comment but did not change the text of the instruction, the change(s) will be explained in the AOC's memorandum, but a copy of the instruction will not be posted under the Updates to Instructions link.

Lesser Included Offenses
Last updated February 28, 2008

The TPI-Criminal Committee has received many requests from trial judges for assistance in jury charges which involve lesser included offenses, a rapidly evolving area of criminal law.

Judge Joseph M. Tipton of the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals has compiled a listing of decisions of the Tennessee Supreme Court and Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals, applying State v. Burns, 6 S.W.3d 454 (Tenn. 1999) to lesser included offenses. Judge Tipton has authorized the Committee to post his outline for informational purposes.

It should be noted that in these opinions the court determined only whether particular crimes were lesser included offenses but did not necessarily list all lesser included offenses for each indicted offense.

The TPI-Criminal Committee expresses its appreciation to Judge Tipton for providing this user's guide. The guide will be periodically updated.

PLEASE NOTE: PUBLIC CHAPTER 439, WHICH BECAME EFFECTIVE ON JULY 1, 2009, REDEFINES LESSER INCLUDED OFFENSES.