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Crime of Passion Law Alabama

Murders are by no means legal. And the state of Alabama is no different from this rule. However, some people do refer to the crime of passion law to defend themselves against the charges of murder. But what is a crime of passion law? And more importantly, what does a crime of passion mean?

A crime of passion occurred when the accused or the killer had no intention of murdering the victim. It means that the person who committed such a crime did so in a fit of rage and not intentionally. Such cases are treated as Class B felonies in the state and can attract up to 20 years in prison.

The Crime of Passion Law in Alabama

When a person intentionally kills someone, then that person has committed murder or homicide. However, not all killings are equal in the eyes of the law in the state of Alabama. When the heat of passion influenced the person's intentions, such crimes or murders come under the crime of passion law in the state of Alabama. Also, when a person is charged with a crime such as manslaughter in the state, he or she can be fined by up to $30,000 and will have to spend at least 20 years in prison. If the incident involved a firearm, then the accused will be sentenced to jail for not less than ten years.

Alabama Crime of Passion Law
Types of Crime of Passion

There are two types of manslaughter under the crime of passion law in Alabama. The first one is called voluntary manslaughter and the second one is called involuntary manslaughter. A person involved in a case of voluntary manslaughter in Alabama is treated as having the same intent as murder.  But in this case, there is a state of emotional being called ‘heat of passion’ that can negate the purpose of murder. According to the penal code of the state, the victim doesn’t need to provoke the murderer into such a state to prove that the murder was indeed a crime of passion.


There have been several cases where the defendants are provoked into the heat of passion state, and thus, commit brutal murders. But even still, most of the provocations aren’t adequate to bring down the intent of murder to manslaughter. Therefore, the provocation from the victims must be severe enough to consider the murder as manslaughter. That is, the murderer should have had a good reason to kill the victim.

One of the other important requirements for the courts to consider the murder as voluntary manslaughter is that they should have been in a state of shock, fright, or anger or rage. Being in such a state can negate the effects of being in a state of calmness that supports the intent to kill.

Crime of Passion Law Alabama
Murder and the Heat of Passion

In the case of involuntary manslaughter, there is a complete lack of intent to murder. The significant difference between voluntary manslaughter and an involuntary one is that while in the case of voluntary manslaughter, the intention to murder has been negated due to the defendant being in the emotional state of the heat of passion. Whereas, in the case of involuntary manslaughter, there is no question of murderous intent.


So, according to the crime of passion law in Alabama, manslaughter, or a crime of passion occurs when there is no intent to murder (involuntary manslaughter), or when the intent to murder has been negated due to the defendant being in an emotional state of the heat of passion (voluntary manslaughter). Thus, in Alabama, whether the crime committed was murder, or a crime of passion depends on the emotional state of the defendant.

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