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heat of passion

n. in a criminal case, when the accused was in an uncontrollable rage at the time of commission of the alleged crime. If so, it may reduce the charge, indictment or judgment down from murder to manslaughter, since the passion precluded the defendant having premeditation or being fully mentally capable of knowing what he/she was doing.

See also: manslaughter  murder 

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The People's Law Dictionary by Gerald and Kathleen Hill Publisher Fine Communications