The first thing that comes to mind when thinking of criminal endeavors is not generally marriage. However, there are numerous California crimes that can be committed by inappropriate marital conduct. In fact, the state of California considers certain marital acts to be criminal activity quite harshly when compared to other states. Here is a breakdown of “marriage crimes” in California:
1. Incest: Although it is common to think of pedophilia or sexual abuse circumstances when discussing incest, California's law against incest of adults is strict. Penal Code 285 PC, or California's incest law, deems the marriage between two consenting adults illegal when they are too closely related to one another. The familial relationships that would be considered criminal under this law include parent-child, brother-sister, and even uncle-niece, aunt-nephew, and marriage between half-siblings.
2. Bigamy: In California, Penal Code 281 PC bigamy occurs when you marry someone while you are still married to a different individual. Bigamy is concerned a serious crime in California, despite the recent popularity of shows such as “Sister Wives” and “My Five Wives.”
3. Marrying The Husband or Wife of Another: This crime is known as Penal Code 284 PC “marrying the husband or wife another” when you marry an individual who is already married to someone else. Essentially, this Penal Code applies to the person who is the “other woman” or “other man” in a bigamous marriage, and makes such behavior criminal.