Bigamy (N.J.S.A. 2C:24-1), while rarely prosecuted, remains a crime in New Jersey. The statute specifies the element of knowing that a person is engaging in a marriage when a previous marriage has not legally ended, in order to be convicted. Defenses include believing that a prior spouse has died, having a judgment of divorce or annulment and believing the judgment is valid, and even simply reasonably believing that you are legally eligible to marry again. Those who knowingly agree to marry a person they know to already be married are also guilty of bigamy.
The charge is graded as a disorderly persons offense and carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail and a fine of $1,000, but a bigamy charge in New Jersey can be extremely problematic in the event that you want to divorce and win a fair settlement. It’s best to fight back when facing allegations that you knowingly married again, when in many cases, the problem has more to do with recordkeeping than criminality.
Matthew Reisig can help you when you’ve been charged with Bigamy in New Jersey. Call 732-625-9661 today and talk to a lawyer for free.