Drug Charges

Montana I-190, the Montana Marijuana Legalization and Tax Initiative, was a cannabis legalization initiative that appeared on the November 3, 2020, Montana general election ballot. Passing with 57% approval, the initiative legalized recreational marijuana in the state effective January 1, 2021. Under I-190 § 8(1)(a), it is now lawful and no longer a criminal offense …

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Expungement of Convictions

Felony convictions cannot be expunged from your record. They can, however, be dismissed if you received a deferred imposition of sentence. The dismissal of a deferred felony conviction will not happen automatically – you must petition the court for dismissal once the sentence is complete. You can apply for early termination of a deferred sentence …

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Property Crimes

Property crimes include criminal mischief, arson, trespassing, burglary, theft and related offenses. Some carry mandatory penalties and most require payment of restitution. Common defenses include lack of intent, consent of the owner, mistaken identity and alibi.

Commercial Driving Offenses

CDL holders face significant consequences if they are convicted of even minor traffic citations, such as speeding, careless driving, reckless driving, permit and log book violations, or weigh station offenses. A frequent hurdle for CDL offenses are state and federal antimasking statutes that prohibit reduced charges or deferred sentences. Further, many Montana judges require out-of-state …

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Violent Crimes

Violent offenses in Montana are defined by § 46-23-502(13), MCA, and include deliberate homicide, mitigated deliberate homicide, aggravated assault, partner or family member assault (PFMA) (3rd offense), assault on a peace officer, assault on a minor, assault with a weapon, strangulation, kidnapping, robbery, arson, and operation of an unlawful clandestine laboratory. Most violent offenses carry …

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Sex Offenses

Most sex offenses in Montana carry mandatory minimum sentences and sexual offender registration for at least 10 years. There is also a statutory restriction on deferred sentences for anyone convicted of a sex offense. More and more cases are being filed with no physical evidence and just one witness claiming sexual assault as probable cause. …

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Probation Revocations

Probation revocations occur when someone violates the conditions of a deferred or suspended sentence. The probation officer files a Report of Violation and the prosecutor then files a Petition to Revoke, seeking to take away the defendant’s deferred or suspended sentence to impose a new sentence, such as a commitment to the Department of Corrections …

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Fish and Game Violations

Fishing, hunting and trapping violations are taken very seriously in Montana. Common fish and game citations are unlawful taking and possession of game, waste of game, check station violations, residency and licensure violations, and trespassing. Hunting violations involving trophy animals can result in felony convictions with penalties that include imprisonment, fines, restitution, license forfeiture and loss …

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