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Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 27733
Experience:  18 years of litigation experience.
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I am being tried. I was arrested after the second marriage

Customer Question

I am being tried for bigamy. I was arrested after the second marriage was annuled, and the problem resolved. I had what I thought were divorce papers but there is no record at the courthouse and my first husband said I never signed the final papers, but I remember doing so and recieveing a copy of a divorce, which now apparently doesnt exist. I have a jury trial on the 22nd. what are the chances I could go to prison, I have no record and Im 44 years old woman with 3 children living with me. I dont want to accept a felony and probation for something I didnt do, but I dont want to take a risk of going to prison and losing my children. I will accept a felony record to protect my children if I have to, but I am wondering how likely it would be even if they believed I purposely did it that I would get thrown in prison for it, with no prior record?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 2 years ago.

Hello,

Nobody can second guess what a jury will do with this evidence. If they believe there's a possibility that you couldn't have known you were really divorced, you would have to be acquitted. But there's no proof to show that you were ever divorced, and whether a person actually got divorced or not is something that a jury may feel that most people would have to really know.

In general, if you turn down probation and choose to go to trial, you will not get it back if you are convicted of a crime. That's because a jury will have heard all the evidence and would have no doubt about your guilt. So the sentence would involve at least some jail -- a split with probation -- or state prison.

Sometimes a lawyer might be able to get a prosecutor to agree in advance that upon conviction, he would not be seeking jail time. That's unusual, but not impossible. Sometimes, a sympathetic judge might still give you probation if you waive a jury and try the case directly to him. You need to discuss this with your lawyer and see how he feels about your prosecutor and judge, however, because in my experience some incarceration will happen if you lose at trial, even if you have no prior record.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
thank you, ***** ***** thinking it would be better to not take a chance, I have a son who has had cancer and we have to go for testing every 6 months, I just cant be away from my children, at all. But I cant lie and say I did something that I did not do. Would this mean I plead no contest?
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 2 years ago.

Sorry for the delay.

Unlike in some states where pleas of no contest are not allowed, Kentucky law recognizes an Alford plea. Whether the court would allow it, on the other hand, is something that your lawyer would have to check into.