If you have been accused of a violent crime, you need to consider all of your options. Exactly how the event played out may have a big impact on what type of charges you face.
One way to illustrate this is by examining the “crime of passion” defense. Essentially, you are saying that your emotions at the time clouded your judgment and made you act out of character.
Perhaps the most common example is when a person comes home and finds their spouse with someone else. They may fly into a rage, physically fight that person and end up taking their life.
Initially, this could look like they will face a murder charge. However, one key component of a murder charge is intent. You must intend to take that person’s life even before you carry out the act.
Your passion and the unexpected nature of the encounter, though, mean you never stopped to think through what you were doing and the potential ramifications. You never intended to take anyone’s life and never even considered it until that moment.
As such, you could argue that there was never any intent to kill. Without it, you may end up facing manslaughter charges for an unintended death. That can drastically reduce the sentence that you get if convicted on those grounds.
This is just one possible defense, and it clearly only works in specific situations. However, it shows you why it is so important to carefully consider all of your options if you are facing charges for someone’s death so that you can work effectively with your attorney.