MALICIOUS MISCHIEF - INTRODUCTION
The defendant is charged with malicious mischief by [Alleged Injury or Damage] of [Description of Property] owned by [Name of Owner] on [Date] in [Name of County] County, Oklahoma.
Title 21, Chapter 69, is entitled Malicious Mischief. The chapter contains 45 sections. Many of the sections have never been the subject of appellate decision; many other sections have been the subject of one or of very few appellate decisions. Hence, the Commission has drafted introductory and element instructions solely for the general malicious-mischief statute, section 1760. It is the only section which has been the subject of numerous prosecutions and of numerous decisions by the Court of Criminal Appeals.
With regard to the other 44 sections, the Commission has simply stated the purpose of a specific section and cited the case or cases, if any, that have either cited or construed that section. To draft instructions for these 44 sections appears a tedious task, because no uniformity of language or consistency of subject matter exists. The elements of the specific crimes created by these sections differ substantially. Many of the sections which simply provide protection for specified types of property can clearly be considered malicious-mischief statutes. Section 1755 is an example.
If the defendant is charged under one of the 44 sections for which no instruction has been drafted, the Commission makes the following recommendation to the trial judge in drafting an instruction: If the section under which the defendant is charged is a malicious-mischief statute similar to the crime created by section 1760, except that the section is limited to specific types of property, the trial judge need only use the elements of section 1760 with one change. The trial judge will need to change the third element of section 1760, "property," to reflect the specific type of property protected by the section under which the defendant is charged. If the section under which the defendant is charged is not a malicious-mischief statute, the Commission would urge that the pattern of the element instructions adopted by the Commission be drafted by the trial judge.