A Killing Committed “In the Heat of Passion” can Reduce a Murder Charge to Manslaughter
There are many defenses to murder charges in Los Angeles County which if effectively argued could result in a reduction of the murder charge. A murder defense in the “heat of passion” or “sudden quarrel” defense can reduce a murder charge to a voluntary manslaughter charge. Second degree murder in California carries a 15 to life sentence while voluntary manslaughter carries a maximum sentence of 11 years in State Prison.
The defendant killed someone because of a sudden quarrel or in the heat of passion if:
The defendant was provoked;
As a result of the provocation, the defendant acted rashly and under the influence of intense emotion that obscured (his/her) reasoning or judgment; AND
The provocation would have caused a person of average disposition to act rashly and without due deliberation, that is, from passion rather than from judgment.
In order for the heat of passion defense to reduce a charge of murder to manslaughter all three of the elements above must be met. The most common of heat of passion is where the defendant comes home to find his wife in bed with another man. The defendant becomes enraged and immediately kills his wife, the other man, or both. This scenario has led to murder charges being reduced to voluntary manslaughter.
There is nothing more serious in the criminal justice system than facing murder charges. If you or a loved one is facing murder or manslaughter charges in Los Angeles County call Wallin & Klarich today at (888) 280-6839. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys in Los Angeles have successfully defended clients facing murder charges.
AUTHOR: Paul Wallin
Paul Wallin is one of the most highly respected attorneys in Southern California. His vast experience, zealous advocacy for his clients and extensive knowledge of many areas of the law make Mr. Wallin a premiere Southern California attorney.
Mr. Wallin founded Wallin & Klarich in 1981. As the senior partner of Wallin & Klarich, Mr. Wallin has been successfully representing clients for more than 30 years. Clients come to him for help in matters involving assault and battery, drug crimes, juvenile crimes, theft, manslaughter, sex offenses, murder, violent crimes, misdemeanors and felonies. Mr. Wallin also helps clients with family law matters such as divorce and child custody.
If you or a loved one have been accused of a crime, this is the time to contact us.
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