The Crimes Act makes it an offence to be married to two different people at the same time. This is commonly known as the offence of ‘bigamy.’
However, you may also be charged with a criminal offence if you participate in bigamy – that is, if you marry somebody who you know to be already married.
You can be charged with this offence even if you yourself are not already married.
The maximum penalty for this offence under the Crimes Act is 5 years imprisonment.
If you are alleged to have participated in bigamy, you may also be charged with an offence under section 94 of the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth).
The maximum penalty for participating in bigamy under the Marriage Act is also 5 years imprisonment.
However, you may be able to raise a defence to the charges if you are able to prove that you did not know that the other person was married, and that this belief was reasonable.
While the maximum penalties for participating in bigamy may seem onerous, our expert criminal defence team can assist you in avoiding these heavy penalties under the law.
Section 93 of the Crimes Act 1900 deals with the offence of ‘Participator in Bigamy’ and reads as follows:
93 Participator in bigamy
Whosoever, whether married or unmarried, marries the husband or wife of any person not continually so absent, as in the proviso to section 92 mentioned, knowing him or her to be married, and the former wife or husband to be alive, shall be liable to imprisonment for five years.
See Marriage Act 1961 (Commonwealth), section 94
Being accused of participating in bigamy can be a confronting and embarrassing experience for you an your loved ones.
Thankfully, with the help of an experienced criminal defence lawyer, you can fight the charges and get on with your life.
Our lawyers are vastly experienced in all aspects of criminal law and can assist you in fighting your ‘participator in bigamy’ charges to secure a positive outcome.
In many cases, our lawyers are able to have charges dropped at an early stage by carefully examining all the evidence in order to find problems with the prosecution case.
Our lawyers then take the time to write to the prosecution highlighting these problems, and requesting that the charges be dropped.
Often, this means our clients are spared the time and expense of fighting the charges in court.
Alternatively, where the prosecution refuses to drop the charges, our lawyers will give you the best possible defence by fighting hard to protect your interests.
Our lawyers are highly respected advocates who will fight ruthlessly to secure the best possible outcome in your case.
We will take the time to obtain all relevant evidence to support your case, and will examine all witnesses in a strategic manner.
Where you simply wish to plead guilty to the charges, our fearless advocates will out forth persuasive sentencing submissions to secure the lowest possible penalty.
For the best defence in your ‘participator in bigamy’ case, get the criminal law experts on your side today. Contact us on (02) 9261 8881 and book your FREE first conference with our dedicated lawyers.