Definition - What does Provocation mean?

Provocation is the act of provoking or inciting a defendant to act in ways that may lessen the defendant’s culpability.

In many jurisdictions, provocation is an affirmative defense. If the defendant can prove that they were provoked into rage or passion, the charge or the punishment may be reduced.

Justipedia explains Provocation

Many courts allow defendants to argue that they were provoked to commit a crime as a partial defense or mitigating factor. When using provocation as a defense, the defendant admits that they committed the crime, but that they would not have acted in that way unless they were provoked.

Provocation is often at issue in homicide cases, and a successful provocation defense may reduce a first-degree homicide charge to something like manslaughter.

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