For the crime of bigamy to me proven, the following elements must be proven by the prosecution beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The accused knowingly and intentionally has two or more spouses.
- The marriages occurred at the same time.
Other similar or related offenses include:
- Incest – NRS 201.180
- Marrying a Married Person – NRS 201.170
- Domestic Violence – NRS 200.485
- Violation of Protective Order – NRS 200.591
L is married to K, but is also dating R. K does not know about R, and R does not know about K. L tells K that he has been traveling for work, when he had really been staying with R. R begins to talk to L about getting married, and L agrees that they should get married. However, L does not divorce K. When L marries R, he commits the crime of bigamy as he is now married to both K and R.Defenses to Bigamy
When a criminal charge is filed, it is merely an allegation. The State’s job is to prove that allegation beyond a reasonable doubt. However, this can be a difficult feat when an experienced criminal defense attorney brings up defenses that cast doubt to the case.
The first defense that can be used against bigamy is that the accused is not actually married to two people. If the accused can prove that the prior marriage ended in an annulment, a divorce, or the spouse dying, then the bigamy changes cannot stand up in court.
If a spouse was deserted, and chose to marry again, then that is not criminal bigamy. In order for this defense to be used, the accused must have had at least five years gone by without knowing whether or not the spouse is alive. If the prosecution cannot prove that the defendant knew, or should have known, that the other spouse was alive, then the bigamy charge will be dropped.
The accused may also fully believe that he or she is divorced. This may occur if a person believed that the divorce was finalized, but some paperwork was not filed correctly or there was a clerical error that did not allow the divorce to legally be declared. An experienced defense attorney may be able to show that the accused genuinely intended to divorce the first spouse, and genuinely believed that it was done. Since no deception occurred, this may allow the bigamy charge to be dismissed.Potential Penalty for Bigamy
If a person is convicted of bigamy, they are convicted of a felony. The defendant faces one to four years in the Nevada Department of Corrections and a fine of up to $5,000.Criminal Defense for Bigamy
While the crime of bigamy is not often charged in Nevada, it is a serious felony allegation. Such an allegation of bigamy can be defeated if an experienced criminal defense attorney is hired. Las Vegas Attorney Joshua Tomsheck has handled thousands of criminal cases, including cases in virtually every municipal, State and Federal Court in Nevada. Since leaving his post as a Chief Deputy District Attorney in Las Vegas, he has consistently been named one of the Top Lawyers in the field of criminal defense and is a Nationally Board-Certified Criminal Trial Advocate who will fight diligently for you. The allegation of bigamy, while serious, can be defeated without a trial through the intensive investigation, preparation, negotiation, and litigation that Mr. Tomsheck provides.
For more information about the charge and defense of Bigamy in Las Vegas, call preeminent Las Vegas Criminal Defense Lawyer Joshua Tomsheck at the law firm of Hofland & Tomsheck right away to schedule your free consultation. (702) 895-6760.