What is Bigamy?
Bigamy is when a person enters into marriage with someone while still legally married to another. While this is a crime in most states it may be hard to prove or convict. Many times people are at a loss and may need legal assistance and are unsure who to turn to. Family lawyers on JustAnswer frequently answer questions about bigamy and its legal implications.
Is Bigamy a Felony?
It is considered a felony charge in most circumstances. Whether or not a case is prosecuted usually depends on the seriousness of the crime and whether local prosecutors want to pursue the case. For instance, if it resulted in welfare fraud or immigration fraud, the state would be more apt to pursue prosecution.
This is a felony in most states but can be hard to prosecute. The exception would be if the bigamist is wasting or spending monies of the new spouse. This is when the bigamist could be taken to court for economic crimes. If convicted, the bigamist could be sentenced to prison. The extent of the prosecution would vary depending on individual circumstances.
How to Report Bigamy?
One should report bigamy to the local police and/or the district attorney’s office. Make sure the claim is accurate before reporting. Having documentation or some other form of proof would add credibility to your claim and would help the authorities prosecute the case.
Try and collect as much information as possible detailing the crime.
You may need to answer questions such as: How do you know that the person is still married to two people? How do you know that the person married again or when did the person admit to you that they were still legally married to another person? Is there any proof of the coexistence of both marriages? With this information, the police and/or district attorney would be able to obtain marriage records to confirm your information before taking legal action.
What is the Statute of Limitations?
Bigamy has to be prosecuted while the person is still married to two people, as it would be considered a continuing crime. However, if the person has divorced or gotten an annulment, there would be no crime.
The act of bigamy is more common that you may think. The victims are the ones that suffer the most. Many bigamists manage to deceive both their spouses. While it can be shattering to discover that your spouse is also legally married to another person without your knowledge, there is information and legal recourse available for victims of this crime. If you think you are a victim or think that you may have unknowingly committed bigamy, you can bring the details of your case to Family Lawyers on JustAnswer. Their expert opinion and legal insights may help you determine the best legal course of action available.