If something extremely disturbing occurs, people may be overcome with passionate desires to commit terrible crimes in the heat of the moment. For example, if someone were to catch his lover with another man, he might get the uncontrollable desire to harm one or the both of them. If his actions result in the death of either adulterous individual, then this man could have committed an act of voluntary manslaughter.
Legally, voluntary manslaughter is defined as the act of killing another individual “in the heat of passion,” as a direct result of some sort of provocation. In this case, “the heat of passion” is a term classified by extreme feelings of terror or rage and sufficient provocation has to encompass an act that justifiably would incite an average, normal person to lose control of his or her actions.
Common forms of voluntary manslaughter include the following:
- The aforementioned act of killing resulting from the discovery of one’s lover engaged in an act of adultery
- Killing in response to an act of violence directed towards one’s child, spouse, or another loved individual
- Killing out of self-defense, such as in reaction to a violent blow or when engaged in mutual combat
It is up the courts to decide whether or not a particular act is considered voluntary manslaughter, and the rulings might differ from case to case, depending on circumstances.
If you or someone you know has been convicted of voluntary manslaughter, the Milwaukee criminal defense lawyers of Hart Powell, S.C. can help. Please contact their law office at (414) 271-9595 today to set up an appointment.