Crime of Passion Law Washington
A crime of passion is committed when the offender is provoked into killing someone, in the heat of the moment, without having the time to think about what is happening or what he or she is about to do. In such cases, if the jury finds enough proof that the crime indeed occurred in the heat of the moment, he or she will convict the defendant only of manslaughter, and no murder charges will be filed against the offender. Each state across the United States of America has a set of laws governing crime of passion or manslaughter. Likewise, the state of Washington also has regulations about the crime of passion.
The Crime of Passion Law in Washington
As mentioned earlier, each state in the US has a set of laws governing manslaughter, and so does Washington. The state of Washington recognizes two types of manslaughter. The first one is known as the first-degree manslaughter, and the other one is called second-degree manslaughter. In Washington, a person could be guilty of first-degree manslaughter if he or she recklessly causes the death of another person, or even if he or she intentionally kills an unborn child by inflicting enough damage upon the mother.
Similarly, a person commits the offense of second-degree manslaughter when he or she negligently kills another person. Here, the offender can present his defenses before a court of law only if there were no intentions to kill the said victim, and the murder happened by accident. The significant difference between first-degree manslaughter and second-degree manslaughter is the recklessness involved in the former. Such a crime occurs when the defendant should do not realize that his or her behavior could kill the victim or the other person.
Penalties for Crime of Passion in Washington
Different states have different sentencing guidelines for crimes such as manslaughter. These guidelines classify the sentences into the state level as well as federal level sentences. At the federal level, the base sentence for manslaughter lies between ten and 16 months in prison. The penalty can be increased if the crime was committed due to sheer recklessness. Also, if the person committed involuntary manslaughter, which involved an automobile, the sentences are even higher.
Various states across the United States tend to borrow the federal guidelines to forge their guidelines for sentencing crimes like manslaughter. And although most of these guidelines are similar to the federal ones, they do vary widely. The states have a wide range of sentences, and most of them depend on the circumstances of the case.
The harshness of the penalties also depends on various aggravating factors. Such factors can increase the seriousness of the crime and can include things like the defendant’s history or the recklessness of his or her behavior when the crime was committed. While aggravating factors can increase the harshness of the punishments, mitigating factors tend to bring down the sentences to a considerable extent. These factors typically involve things like whether the defendant accepts responsibility for having committed the crime or even other things like the lack of a criminal background or history.
Thus, all the states across the United States of America have their laws governing the crime of passion or manslaughter. Similarly, the crime of passion law in the state of Washington governs the act of manslaughter, which occurred in the heat of passion. So, if you ever find yourself involved in a crime of passion or manslaughter case, you should talk to a defense attorney who can help you fight the case in the courts. This is because only a good defense attorney can help you turn the case around for the better.
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