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What is Heat of Passion Manslaughter? Criminal Law

What is Heat of Passion Manslaughter?

4 years ago by Brian
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The heat of passion manslaughter, which falls under first-degree manslaughter, can subject you to serious criminal penalties if you are ultimately convicted. In order to convict you, a prosecutor must demonstrate your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. A judge may sentence you to serve jail time and/or pay fines. 

Heat of passion manslaughter is a type of first-degree manslaughter charge in Minnesota. Even though a manslaughter charge is less than a murder charge, a conviction can still subject you to serious criminal penalties, including jail time. 

A first-degree manslaughter charge should never be taken lightly. If you or someone you love has been charged with first-degree manslaughter, it is important that you retain experienced legal counsel to represent you throughout your entire case. The experienced Woodbury manslaughter lawyers at JS Defense, P.A., can explore all of your legal options with you, represent you at any court hearings, and help you defend against your pending criminal charge. Please call us today to discover more about how we can assist you throughout your criminal legal matter. 

Elements of a Heat of Passion Manslaughter Charge

In the State of Minnesota, a person can be charged with first-degree manslaughter if he or she kills another person during the heat of passion. The heat of passion killing occurs when the accused intends to bring about the death of a human being – and when the accused was provoked by one or more acts or words that would provoke an individual who possesses “ordinary self-control under similar circumstances.”

In a nutshell, then, a person can be charged with heat of passion manslaughter if his or her actions are the result of some form of provocation. A classic example of a heat of passion killing is when a person comes home to find his or her spouse in bed with someone else – and the person shoots and kills the spouse almost immediately. 

Under the statute, however, there are certain situations which do not amount to adequate provocation for a killing to constitute first-degree manslaughter. Those situations include a crying child, for example. In addition, an individual who is intoxicated is not a person who possesses “ordinary self-control.”

Potential Penalties upon Conviction

Even though first-degree manslaughter is not murder, a conviction may still come with serious consequences. For example, the accused, upon conviction, may receive a maximum of 15 years in jail and/or a maximum $30,000 monetary fine. The accused will also have a violent crime conviction on his or her criminal record. 

Speak with a Woodbury Manslaughter Lawyer about Your Legal Matter Today

If you are currently facing a first-degree manslaughter charge, the skilled legal team at JS Defense, P.A., is ready to assist you with understanding your legal rights and pursuing a defense on your behalf in your criminal case. For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with an experienced Woodbury manslaughter attorney, please call us today at (651) 968-9652 or contact us online for more information.

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by attorney Justin M. Schiks who has more than 20 years of legal experience as a personal injury attorney.

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