Homicide in the Heat of Passion
Homicide in the heat of passion can happen at any time and will affect you and everyone around you. Homicide in the Heat of Passion is: you are not guilty of murder/manslaughter if you killed someone by accident while acting in the heat of passion. Such a killing is excused and not unlawful if at the time of the killing 1. You acted in the heat of passion. 2. You were suddenly provoked or drawn into combat. 3. you did not take undue advantage of the victim. 4. You did not use a dangerous weapon. 5. You did not kill the victim in a cruel or unusual way. 6. You did not mean to kill the victim and did not act with disregard of the danger to his/her life. and 7. You did not act with criminal negligence. An Example of a case where someone would act with passion not with judgement is if you found your spouse in bed with another person. Although the heat of passion does not need anger, rage or a specific emotion. It can be any violent or intense emotion without thinking. In order for the killing to be excused sufficient provocation must be met. In the above example if the other person your spouse was with, taunted you saying that you weren’t good enough and acted in a violent way, it may count as sufficient provocation. In order to say whether you acted within conduct will be decided by the judge or jury. It must be enough for an average person to react in the same way. Although it may be hard, Homicide in the heat of passion still deals with criminal negligence. If you act in a way that creates a high risk of death or great bodily injury while a reasonable person would have known that acting that way would create that risk, then you were under criminal negligence. Example if you killed someone by beating him to death with your fists, however if you fought by the window intentionally then that is criminal negligence.
If you or someone you know committed a homicide in the heat of passion, have an attorney read your case and represent you.