PC 281

PC 281

Offense

Bigamy

Aggravated Felony (AF)

Not AF

Crime Involving Moral Turpitude (CIMT)

Should not be CIMT, but see Advice

Other Removal Grounds

No other removal ground.

Advice and Comments

Should not be a CIMT despite the availability of a defense of lack of guilty knowledge,1As written, Pen C § 281 does not require the prosecution to prove any guilty knowledge or bad intent on the part of the defendant; it is a strict liability offense. Case law has added as an affirmative defense the defendant’s reasonable belief that the first marriage had ended. People v. Vogel (1956) 46 Cal.2d 798, Forbes v. Brownelle, 149 F.Supp. 848 (D.D.C. 1957). However, the existence of an affirmative defense should not be held to add the element of guilty knowledge to the statute under the categorical approach, so no conviction for § 281 should be held a CIMT. but counsel should assume it might be charged as one and seek another offense if avoiding CIMT is crucial.

2020-05-19T18:15:53+00:00Updated January 29th, 2020|