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Crime of Passion Law Rhode Island

Depending on the circumstances, a crime of passion or manslaughter in Rhode Island can be classified either as a misdemeanor or a felony. And the penalties or punishments may range from 30 years in prison to a lifetime depending on how the case turns. Although you may have the same defenses in a Rhode Island crime of passion or manslaughter case, just as you do in other cases, the stakes are still considerably high. As a result, you may need to hire a professional defense attorney who can investigate the case in depth. Your attorney may also have to be well-versed in forensic science to examine the pieces of evidence thoroughly.

Crime of Passion Law in Rhode Island

In Rhode Island, the crime of passion law falls under the umbrella of homicide laws. The crime of passion or manslaughter in Rhode Island comes under Code 11-23-3 and can be defined as taking someone else’s life, either due to negligence or with some intent. Manslaughter is a broad term and can be further classified into two subcategories, namely voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter.

In the case of involuntary manslaughter, a person kills another without any intentions, due to recklessness or negligence. Examples of such manslaughters could include killing someone due to drunk driving.


Voluntary manslaughter occurs when a person intentionally kills someone else. An example of such manslaughter could be a crime of passion where a spouse killed his or her partner in the heat of an argument.

Penalties for Crime of Passion in Rhode Island

Just like other states across the United States, the state of Rhode Island has also got its own set of penalties or punishments against the crime of passion or manslaughter. These penalties may include, but are not restricted to:

  • Thirty years in prison, or in some cases, life sentences.
  • Formal or informal probation.
  • The person’s right to hold arms can be revoked.
  • The imposition of hefty fines.

The type of penalty given by the courts depends on various factors, including whether the defendant held weapons during the event or not, his or her criminal background, intentions, and any other aggravating factors.

Getting Help from an Attorney

In many manslaughter or crime of passion cases in the state of Rhode Island, figuring out the identity of the killer can be a hassle. A skilled attorney can help you find the murderer by investigating and effectively presenting any scientific or forensic pieces of evidence.



By collecting strong pieces of evidence, the attorney can present such persuasion to the jury that proves the client was not present at the scene of the crime. There is also the possibility of the client murdering the victim in the pretext of self-defense. Such consequences can turn the case around for the client when presented effectively by the attorney.

Changes to Manslaughter Sentences in Rhode Island

On May 31, 2012, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill that made several changes to the rules governing the sentencing of involuntary manslaughter in the state of Rhode Island. The new law has made it mandatory for all the people involved in cases of manslaughter, first-degree murder, or even second-degree murder to serve life sentences. The rule also applies to all the defendants who carried arms during the manslaughter events. Additionally, the new law has also removed multiple life sentences that were being meted out earlier for the cases involving manslaughter or a crime of passion.

If you or any of your friends or family members are involved in a crime of passion case or a manslaughter case in the state of Rhode Island, the best thing you can do is contact a reputable attorney who can help you win the argument by presenting strong pieces of evidence. Such attorneys are capable of doing some investigation of their own and collecting bits of evidence that can turn the cases around for the better.

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