crime of passion

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary

A crime committed while in the throes of passion, with no opportunity to reflect on what is happening and what the person is about to do. For example, a husband who discovers his wife in bed with a lover and who attacks and kills the lover in a blind rage has committed a crime of passion. Because the husband has been overcome with emotion, he lacks the specific intent to kill, which is necessary for a conviction of murder. If a jury believes that he acted in the heat of passion, they will convict him only of manslaughter, which does not require an intent to kill. (See also: manslaughter, specific intent)

Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.