Have you been charged with Bigamy?
There are a number of things to consider if you have been charged with this offence.
Can the prosecution make out their case? Did you marry a person when you were already married to someone else? Was your first spouse still alive? Did you believe the first marriage was over through divorce or annulment?
Case law suggests that there are certain circumstances, including where the defendant believes that their spouse is dead or that the marriage was invalid where the defendant can mount a successful defence.
You will need to engage a specialist criminal lawyer to help you with your defence. Please read below for more information in relation to this charge.
The prosecution must prove:
The defendant went through the form or ceremony of marriage with another person;
The defendant had previously entered into a valid marriage with another person;
That such other person was still alive at the time at which the defendant went through the ceremony of marriage mentioned in 1;
The first marriage had not been terminated at the time at which the defendant went through the ceremony of marriage mentioned in 1.
The maximum penalty
Level 6 imprisonment being a maximum of 5 years.
Where will my case be heard?
Bigamy cases will usually be heard in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria.
Questions to consider
Do you have a defence?
If you are pleading guilty, what can you do to minimise your sentence?
What to do next?
See an experienced criminal lawyer urgently. Ensure you are adequately prepared, as preparation in relation to any matter is critical. Don’t leave it to the last minute.
If you have been charged with Bigamy make an appointment to see one of our experienced lawyers today.
Section 64 Bigamy of the Crimes Act 1958
Whosoever being married goes through the form or ceremony of marriage with any other person during the life of her or his husband or wife, shall be guilty of an indictable offence, and shall be liable to level 6 imprisonment (5 years maximum). Nothing in this section contained shall extend to any person going through the form or ceremony of marriage as aforesaid whose husband or wife has been continually absent from such person for the space of seven years then last past and has not been known by such person to be living within that time; or shall extend to any person who at the time of her or his going through such form or ceremony of marriage has been divorced from the bond of the marriage; or to any person whose marriage at such time has been declared void by the sentence of any court of competent jurisdiction.