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What is Excusable Homicide in Florida?

by | Jun 17, 2020 | Criminal Charges, Criminal Defense, Criminal Defense Lawyer, Miami Criminal Law Blog, Russell Spatz |

There are several different classifications for murder, each dependent on how the event is carried out. In past blog posts, I’ve covered the different degrees of murder, and have touched on third degree murder, which is where crimes of passion are often found. In the state of Florida crimes of passion are categorized as forms of “excusable homicide.”

The State of Florida Statute reads: “Excusable homicide — Homicide is excusable when committed by accident and misfortune in doing any lawful act by lawful means with usual ordinary caution, and without any unlawful intent, or by accident and misfortune in the heat of passion, upon any sudden and sufficient provocation, or upon a sudden combat, without any dangerous weapon being used and not done in a cruel or unusual manner.”

This statute basically covers three types of situations that can fall into this type of murder classification:

  1. Someone was killed by accident during a lawful act and without any unlawful intent – This would include car accidents resulting in deaths or medical emergencies.
  2. Someone was killed by accident in the heat of passion after being provoked – Severe mental and emotional stress are typically involved in these types of crimes. A prime example would be a case where a cheating spouse is discovered.
  3. Someone was killed during a sudden fight without a weapon or in a cruel way – If someone was attempting to murder you or commit a felony against you and you used deadly force against them, that offense might be considered to be justifiable. This can also cover the Stand Your Ground law and home protection in Florida.

In some states, these would fall into the category of manslaughter, but in Florida these tend to be put into the excusable homicide list. If a murder is deemed excusable, there is a chance that the one who committed the crime will not be convicted or even have to serve time. If you are accused of a murder that you think is being wrongly charged and deserves to be considered as an excusable homicide, having an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side is the best way to have your side of the story heard. Russell Spatz is a licensed criminal defense attorney in the state of Florida who has represented a number of cases over his four-decade career. He is well versed in the criminal justice system and always puts his clients first. Give him a call today at 305-442-0200.


“The Florida Senate.” Chapter 782 Section 03 – 2018 Florida Statutes – The Florida Senate,


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