There are an unfortunate number of assault and homicide cases that Denver personal injury attorneys need to work through and litigate, each imposing serious consequences on the defendant; it is unacceptable to injure another person, especially a family member, and unthinkable to murder them. There is, however, a special classification of assault, or homicide, that the legal system looks upon with a somewhat reduced penalty: crimes of passion. What constitutes a crime of passion and sets it apart from the typical assault or homicide charges?
In short, a crime of passion, or a crime committed in the heat of passion, is a set of circumstances that sets a defendant, and would likely set any average citizen, into a rage and fury that causes them to act out of character, without inhibition, and injure another person through assault, or murder them in a homicide. If your Denver personal injury attorney can prove that the crime in question was committed in the heat of passion and that you were no longer in full control of your actions due to the circumstances around you, your charges and penalties can be reduced. What are some examples of crimes of passion?
The common example used by most people is coming home to a cheating spouse. Say you go to work, just as you do any other day, and start to feel ill and want to go home early. Or, maybe, you finished your work early, it’s nice out, and you want to take off before traffic builds up and enjoy the afternoon from home. Regardless of the reason, you commute to your house, or apartment, and go through the door to hear familiar sounds, see unfamiliar shoes by the door, and have a strange sinking feeling in your stomach. You head to the bedroom and find your spouse has taken a lover and is having an affair. You feel betrayed, sad, enraged, and like the world has been ripped out from under your feet; all you see is pure white and an intruder in your home – and marriage. You grab a weapon, for sake of convenience, a gun, and shoot the extramarital individual. This would be seen as a crime of passion.
If, in the above example, the individual reached for a baseball bat, instead of a gun, and aggressively beat the unwanted guest – who later pressed charges – the defendant would face heat of passion assault charges. Again, in this instance, the sentencing and penalties would likely be reduced. Another way to phrase a heat of passion crime is that of temporary insanity, saying, essentially, that the defendant lost full cognitive function due to overwhelming emotional stimuli.
For more information regarding crimes of passion, contact us today. We are here to help and assist as expert Denver personal injury attorneys.