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Heat of Passion

Definition - What does Heat of Passion mean?

Heat of passion is a mental state in which an individual is so overcome by emotion that he or she may act on impulse or in an irrational manner. Heat of passion is typically brought on by a person experiencing a provocation that is extremely intense. In certain cases, if a murder is committed in the heat of passion, it can be reduced to manslaughter.

Justipedia explains Heat of Passion

An example of a heat of passion murder would be a man who kills another man after he finds that man sleeping with his wife. Another example of a crime committed in the heat of passion would be a person who destroys property after learning that a close relative has just died. In both of these circumstances, defense attorneys could make the argument that the crimes were committed as a direct emotional response to an overwhelming situation. If the judge and the jury are convinced, then the sentence could be lessened.

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