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Crime of Passion Law Iowa

What does the crime of passion mean

Any act that leads to the death of a person is taken very seriously around the world. While some deaths are caused on purpose, in the case of premeditated murder, some are caused with no initial intention of harming the victim. The act that causes the death of an individual without premeditation and due to the presence of stimuli that provokes a person is called a crime of passion. The act, more specifically homicide, is caused due to a sudden impulse due to rage or being provoked, and there was no planning or thought given to the act of harming the victim. The factor that differentiates crime of passion from murder is the fact that there was no intentional malice and the act occurred in the heat of the moment.

What is the crime of passion law

In most cases crime of passion, cases are charged as second-degree murder or manslaughter, and not as murder in the first degree, since the act was not premeditated. The crime of passion law states that for a person to be charged with murder in the first degree, the act of killing the person must be thought out. If the person commits the crime because he or she was provoked and acted on an impulse, the conviction cannot be that of a murder.

Iowa Crime of Passion Law
Iowa crime of passion law

The crime of passion law in Iowa is also known as the voluntary manslaughter law. The crime of passion law Iowa is listed out in the Iowa Code, section 707.4. As per the law in Iowa, a person is said to be guilty of voluntary manslaughter if he or she causes the death of an individual and acts merely based on a violent and sudden urge caused by the being provoked at the moment. In the absence of sudden provocation, the crime would be considered murder. Another factor that comes into play is the cool-off period.

For a crime to be a crime of passion, it is vital that the person who attacked the victim to not have had a cool off period or an interval between the provocation and the actual act of killing. If there has been a cool-off period for the person to regain control and get over his or her urge to lash out, the crime will be considered murder and not voluntary manslaughter.

crime of Passion Law Iowa
Punishment for crime of passion in Iowa

A common example of a crime of passion is a wife finding out that her husband is cheating on her and in the sudden surge of anger, she causes the death of her husband. Since she did not plan to actually cause his death, she cannot be charged with murder, she can, however, be charged with voluntary manslaughter, since she did, in fact, cause the death of an individual regardless of her state of mind.

If a person is found to be guilty of a crime of passion or involuntary manslaughter, he or she can be charged with a Class C felony. In the state of Iowa, a class C felony is punishable by no more than ten years of jail time. In addition to this, the individual will also have to pay a fine which can range from a thousand dollars to ten thousand dollars. There is, however, an exception when it comes to sentencing in a crime of passion cases. If it is found that the accused had possession of a dangerous weapon when the crime was committed, he or she, if convicted, will have to serve a minimum of five years in jail and will not be considered for parole till the five years are complete.

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