The crime of passion defense is often used in situations where someone has lost their life. Another individual has been accused of taking that life, but they claim that it wasn’t murder. It was just a crime of passion.
For example, say that someone is supposed to be on a business trip, but they come home early. They find their spouse having an extramarital affair with the neighbor. They end up getting into a fight with the neighbor in the heat of the moment, and that person loses their life.
But why would the crime of passion defense work? Wouldn’t the person have to admit to what they did, essentially incriminating themselves?
The role of intent in a murder charge
The crime of passion defense is often used because it can establish that there was no premeditation. The person who was on the business trip didn’t plan this out. They didn’t know the affair was even happening, and they certainly did not have any intent to take that other person‘s life.
With first-degree murder charges, intent is often a critical requirement. A person in this situation wouldn’t be trying to debate whether or not they were guilty or innocent. They would be admitting that they were responsible for the act, but saying they don’t believe they should have severe first-degree murder charges because they did not plan it out in advance.
As this shows, criminal defense options can take on a variety of different tactics, depending on the specifics of the case. It’s important for those involved to understand all of their legal rights and options during such a serious time.