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Albert M. Quirantes | Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Office

Killing Someone in the Heat of Passion May Not Be Murder

In the state of Florida, if you kill someone, you can be charged with murder. However, murder is an extremely serious offense and, depending on the circumstances, it could land you in jail for a long time. Unfortunately, this is a likely scenario if you are not represented by an experienced criminal defense attorney. A good criminal lawyer, might be able to have your charge dismissed if the evidence shows that your act of killing was ‘excusable’.

A Crime of Passion Could Be Excusable Homicide

To be convicted of murder, it must be shown that you had the intention to kill someone. The murder must be premeditated or planned in advance. For example, if you planned to kill your spouse because you would inherit a large sum of money and assets if they died, this could be considered premeditation.

If you poisoned your spouse over a few weeks, little by little, and your spouse died, this is not excusable. If there is evidence available to support a case against you, you are most likely to be accused of first-degree murder.

Not all murders are premeditated or intended. Some people kill others in a moment of great emotional turmoil. When this is provoked by the actions of the person who was killed, then this might not constitute murder. With a good defense, the killing might be considered ‘excusable homicide’. This is not a crime in Florida and there are no penalties imposed because of it.

Excusable Homicide vs. Justifiable Homicide

There are other reasons why killing someone might not mean murder or even manslaughter. In Florida, the “stand your ground” defense allows someone who is confronted by another who is armed and whose actions appear to be violent to use deadly force to protect themselves in self-defense. This is an example of justifiable homicide rather than excusable homicide.

Excusable Homicide Is Not the Same in All States

Excusable homicide can be used as a defense against murder in Florida, but this is not the case in every state. In other states, a crime of passion or a heat of passion crime may still be judged to be a crime, even if the circumstances show that there was no premeditation or intent. The defense attorney might be able to get the charge of murder downgraded to manslaughter.

A Good Criminal Defense Attorney Is Absolutely Essential

There is a huge difference between being convicted of murder and having your charge dismissed because it has been recognized as excusable homicide. It is absolutely essential to hire the right attorney to defend you against a charge. In Miami, contact Albert Quirantes Esq., Criminal, DUI and Ticket Lawyers who will do all they can to have your charge dismissed. 305-644-1800.


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