A homicide can be defined as a deliberate and unlawful killing of another person. Most can agree that homicide is inexcusable. However, under Florida law, there is something known as “excusable homicide”, which according to the Florida Statute 782.03, happens when the homicide is committed by accident in doing any lawful act without any unlawful intent, or by accident and misfortune in the heat of passion, without any dangerous weapon being used and not done in a cruel manner.
A “heat of passion” crime is the most common example of an excusable homicide.
A “crime of passion” (also known as heat of passion) occurs when a crime is committed in response to provocation; one which would cause a reasonable individual to act on impulse and lose self-control.
To raise the defense, the offender must have acted immediately after being provoked, with no time to “think things through”. When the element of premeditation is taken off the table, the degree of the crime can be downgraded along with the corresponding punishment.
The most common example of a crime of passion is the sudden discovery of spousal adultery, where the offender reacts without thinking due to the shock provoked by the scene or realization, and ends up committing an unlawful act.
Another common example is a person being assaulted and acting out of self-defense and without premeditation. It is important to note that not all crimes of passion necessarily end in a homicide, but they can result in other serious crimes.
Regardless of the cirscumstances, if you or a loved one has been charge with homicide it is imperative that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to analyze your case and protect your rights.
Attorney Russell Spatz has more than 40 years of experience assisting clients with criminal charges against them. He believes strongly in upholding your rights and will do everything in his power to protect your best interests. Contact him today by calling 305-442-0200 or writing him online.