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Bigamy

Bigamy is an offence under section 92 of the Crimes Act 1900 which carries a maximum penalty of 7 years in prison.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that you legally married a person while legally married to another person.

You are not guilty of the offence if you are able to establish ‘on the balance of probabilities’ that at the time of your subsequent marriage your first spouse had been ‘continually absent’ for 7 years, or in the event that your first spouse was living in New South Wales, that he or she was ‘continually absent’ from the state for 5 years and you believed, on reasonably grounds, that he or she was deceased.

The meaning of ‘continually absent’ is a matter of fact to be determined by the court.

Duress is a defence to the charge.

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