Posts Tagged ‘ Bigamy ’


Posted on: March 20, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Orange County criminal defense attorneyWhen you get married in California, you probably aren’t committing a crime, but some people are. In fact, most of us are unaware that there are a number of “marriage crimes” that can be committed in California and most other states. If you’re charged by the authorities with committing one of these crimes, you’ll need legal help, so you should contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney immediately. The marriage-related crimes in California include:

1. Bigamy: If you marry someone while you are still married to someone else, you can be convicted of bigamy under California Penal Code 281 and 283. Despite recent television shows about polygamy like “Sister Wives” and “My Five Wives,” bigamy is still very much a serious crime in California. Bigamy may be prosecuted as a misdemeanor with a maximum jail sentence of one year or as a felony with a maximum sentence of three years.

2. Marrying the husband or wife of another: It takes two to commit bigamy, and if you marry someone who is already married, the crime is “marrying the husband or wife of another” under California Penal Code 284. Marrying the husband or wife of someone else is a felony punishable by 16 to 36 months behind bars.

3. Incest: Incest isn’t always about sexual abuse or pedophilia. California’s incest law, Penal Code 285, makes it a crime for two consenting adults to marry if they are too closely related. A conviction for incest in California is punishable by 16 to 36 months behind bars and/or a fine of up to $10,000. Additionally, an incest conviction may make you subject to California’s lifelong sex offender registration requirement.

Don’t let a misunderstanding about marriage ruin your life. If you’re accused of any of these “marriage crimes” in Orange County, get legal help fast and contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible.