Love-Triangles Cause of Large Number of Heat-of-Passion Murder Crimes, Some In Florida

Fights caused by heated words, alcohol and drugs, and other circumstances that can fuel rage have ended in many murder related charges. Unfortunately, killings related to romance-triangles have caused the deaths of 95 people last year. One person was reported killed by a sniper and four were killed by being thrown out of windows. 82 people were killed in alcohol-fueled brawls, 58 people were killed in narcotics-induced fights, 148 people were killed in arguments over money or property, and 3,085 people were killed in other disputes, all the lowest figures in four years.

If one is accused of killing someone in Florida, that killing may be excused or mitigated under certain circumstances, depending on whether the murder was excusable or was justified. An excusable homicide is different than justifiable homicide. Justifiable homicide is a killing that is done while resisting an attempt on one’s own life or while resisting a felony in one’s home. imagespctape.jpg

These circumstances include:

– When the death is caused by accident when participating in a lawful act while using ordinary caution without illegal intent.
– When the death happens by accident in the heat of passion with sudden provocation.
– When the death is caused by accident as a result of sudden combat if a dangerous weapon is not used.

Provocation is a possible defense by excuse or pardon alleging a sudden or temporary loss of control (a permanent loss of control is in the state of insanity) in response to another’s provoking conduct reasonable enough to justify an acquittal, a mitigated sentence or a conviction for a lesser charge. Provocation can be a relevant factor in a court’s assessment of the accused’s intent and state of mind at the time the act occurred.

Heat of passion is recognized as a defense to the crimes of first and second-degree murder in Florida. In murder cases involving romance triangles and infidelity, emotion tends to override the ability of the accused to act rationally, which caused the death of the victim, who, in many times, is the spouse, and other times is the person the accused’s spouse was cheating with. If the individual is riled up in the “heat of passion” and kills someone, the killer will not be free from punishment, but many times is able to more easily lower a murder charge to a manslaughter charge.

Heat of passion is a mental state provoked by fear, rage, anger or terror that, combined with adequate provocation, is a defense to the crimes of first and second degree murder. Provocation, in order to be adequate, must be such as might naturally cause a reasonable person in the passion of the moment to lose self-control and act on impulse and without reflection. An example of this is voluntary manslaughter, an intentional killing that was not planned ahead of time, like one person killing another during a dispute, or after finding out about infidelity.

Even though some have actually harmed someone else, people go through with actions that they would not normally ever think of doing because of altered states of mental acuity. When this happens, things said, acts done, and effects rendered can leave the accused what seems like a very rough position with no way out. However, if one obtains an experienced Jacksonville felony violent crimes defense attorney to fight for one’s case, one can ensure one’s rights will be known and protected.

If one is in such a situation and one obtains an experienced attorney, one’s attorney will be able to challenge the evidence against one, including witness testimony, questioning the conduct and manner of any arrest made or search executed, or how evidence was processed by law enforcement.


The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for years and are here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one require a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.

Additional Source: You’re More Likely to Get Punched to Death in Texas, and 5 Other Surprising Crime Stats, Nate Rawlings, Time Magazine