California, United States of America
The following excerpt is from People v. Moor, 2d Crim. No. B256126 (Cal. App. 2016):
Matthew contends the trial court had a sua sponte duty to instruct on voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, assault with a deadly weapon, and simple assault as lesser included offenses to murder. We disagree because manslaughter and simple assault were not supported by the evidence and assault with a deadly weapon is not a lesser included offense to murder. (People v. Dixie (1979) 98 Cal.App.3d 852, 856.)
A trial court must sua sponte instruct the jury on lesser included offenses when the evidence raises a question as to whether all of the elements of the charged offense were present, but not when there is no evidence that the offense was less than that charged. (People v. Barton (1995) 12 Cal.4th 186, 194-195.)
The above passage should not be considered legal advice. Reliable answers to complex legal questions require comprehensive research memos. To learn more visit www.alexsei.com.