Montana Criminal Records

What defines a Criminal Record in Montana?

A criminal record is an official document that records a person’s criminal history. The information is updated from local, county and state jurisdictions as well as trial courts, courts of appeals and county and state correctional facilities.

While the standard for criminal record collection and storage varies from county to count, the majority of Montana criminal records are online record depositories that are available to the public in the form of a Criminal Background Report. This report is accessed through a number of courts, police departments, and the official Montana State Records Online Database.

The amount of criminal records information presented on will vary from person to person. This is because the different resources used to collect information often have non-standardized state level protocols, storage classifications, requirements, organization and digitization processes. Criminal records in the state of Montana generally include the following subjects:

Montana Arrest Records

An arrest record is an official document providing information about a person questioned, apprehended, taken into custody, or placed in detention. It may also include information on persons held for investigation and/or charged with, indicted or tried for any felony, misdemeanor or other offense by any law enforcement or military authority. In Montana, a person is arrested if he/she commits a misdemeanor or if he/she commits a felony, or where there are reasonable grounds to believe he/she committed the crime. An arrest is also done when the offender is likely to go to court for the crime he has committed.

Montana Misdemeanors

A misdemeanor is a non-indictable offense which is generally less severe than felonies. However, like felonies, a misdemeanor charge is classified by a number-based system designed to describe the severity of the alleged crime. Misdemeanor crimes are distinguished from felonies by the seriousness of injury caused to another person, the cash value of the property taken, or a number of drugs in a person’s possession and whether there is proof of intent to sell or distribute the drugs.

Montana does not classify its misdemeanor crimes into separate classes. Misdemeanor crimes in Montana include assault, stalking, criminal trespass, theft of property not exceeding $1,500 in value, issuing a bad check not exceeding $1,500 in value, possession of marijuana not exceeding 60 grams, and driving under the influence.

Montana Felonies

A felony offense is a criminal conviction with a minimum sentence of more than 1 year. It is served in a county jail or state prison. In some cases, a felony conviction can even be punished by death. A felony in Montana is a serious crime that is punishable by death or a term of one year or more in prison. Montana does not classify felony crimes into different classes. The Montana criminal statutes give the possible penalties for each person felony.

Montana Sex Offender Listing

A sex offender listing is a registry of persons convicted of committing a sex crime that is often accessible by the public. In most cases, jurisdictions compile their laws into sections, such as traffic, assault and sexual. Judges are given discretion as to whether they need registration for crimes besides the charges listed under the sex offender registration law. A judge may order an adult to register as a sex offender if the crime involves sexual motivation.  

Montana criminal law bars sexual contact with another person without that person’s consent. A violation can result in a felony conviction and even a life sentence if the assault results in injury. The severity of the penalties for sexual assault and sexual intercourse without consent in Montana depend on convictions of the same offense and other factors.

Montana Serious Traffic Violation

A serious traffic violation tends to involve willful disregard for public safety, death, serious bodily injury, damage to property and multiple minor traffic violations. Montana traffic ticket fines and surcharges vary by the violation; the penalty depends a lot on the violation itself. The Montana Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) will add points to the driving record. These points can affect your driver's license and insurance rates for up to 3 years.

Montana Conviction Records

A conviction record is an official document providing information about an individual who was found guilty, pleaded guilty or pleaded no contest to criminal charges in a civilian or military court. The criminal charges are classified as a felony, misdemeanor or other offense. Conviction also includes when a person is delinquent, has been less than honorably discharged or has been placed on probation, fined, imprisoned or paroled. A criminal conviction is rendered by either a jury of peers or a judge in a court of law. A conviction does not include a final judgment that deleted by a pardon, set aside, reversed or otherwise rendered inoperative.

Montana Jail and Inmate Records

Jail and inmate records are official documents of information about a person’s current and sometimes past inmate status. A person who is in jail or considered an inmate is someone deprived of his/her civil liberties while on trial for a crime or serving a sentence. The Montana Department of Corrections maintains an inmate database that is searchable online. These records often include the inmate’s name, incarceration date, expected release date, convicted offense and sometimes photos.

Montana Parole Information

Parole records are an official document that includes information about the release of a prisoner who agreed to certain conditions before completion of their maximum sentence. While the prisoner is on supervised parole, the board shall need as a condition of parole that they pay a monthly supervision fee of not less than $30, unless the board agrees to accept a lower fee after determining inability of the prisoner to pay. The board may also impose any conditions of parole it seems right to make sure the best interests of the prisoner and the citizens of Montana are served. A prisoner while on parole remains in the legal custody of the department but is subject to the orders of the board.  When a hearing panel issues an order for parole, the order must recite the conditions of parole.

Montana Probation Records

Probation records are official documents that show when a person receives probation as an alternative to prison. Probation allows people convicted of a crime in Montana to serve their sentences out of custody, as long as they follow probation conditions imposed by the judge and probation officer.

Probation is issued in proportion to the crime, so the length and nature of probation differ (sometimes drastically) from case to case. Probation typically falls into three categories: minimally supervised, supervised and intensive. Intensive probation is a form of very strict probation that has conditions that vary from state to state but that emphasize punishment and control of the offender within the community.

Montana Juvenile Criminal Records

A juvenile criminal record is an official record of information about criminal activity committed by children or adolescents who are not yet of legal adult age. Juveniles are not considered to be convicted of a crime like an adult but instead, are found “adjudicated delinquent”. These criminal records are often thought to be erased or expunged once a person becomes of legal adult age, but in fact, the record remains unless the person petitions to have it expunged. If a person was found adjudicated delinquent to a criminal offense, they do not have to respond “yes” if asked whether they have ever been convicted of a crime, unless the question specifically asks if they were ever adjudicated delinquent as well.

Montana History and Accuracy of Criminal Records

The accuracy of the data of criminal records depends on the recordkeeping and technological capabilities of the jurisdiction where the record was assembled and later digitized. Montana criminal records archives usually tend to go back as far as the 1970s. This is when criminal and arrest data was centralized and compiled into an organized database much like we use today. Accuracy was more commonly affected by the human error in the past, but in the 1990s the quality and accuracy of record keeping improved exponentially due to the advent of the computer. As a result, the information provided on will vary from person to person.

Montana Megan’s Law

Megan's Law is the term for state laws that create and support a sex offender registry, which provides information on registered sex offenders to the public. The first Megan's Law appeared after the rape and murder of 7-year-old New Jersey resident Megan Kanka by a sex offender who lived in the girl's own neighborhood. Soon after passage of this first Megan's Law, the federal government requires that all states set up sex offender registries and offer the public with information about those registered.

In addition to any prison sentence or fine, a person convicted of sexual assault or sexual intercourse without consent upon a person under the age of 18 will also be required to register as a sex offender for many years after release from prison. Montana sex offender registration limits where the offender may live, work, go to school and simply be present. Sex offender registries are public records that may be accessed by employers, schools, landlords, neighbors, and the public.

Montana State Archives

State Archives

Results Include

Full Criminal Case Details:

  • Assault
  • Battery
  • Blackmail
  • Conspiracy
  • Domestic Violence
  • Embezzlement
  • Extortion
  • Felonies
  • Firearms
  • Fraud
  • Infractions
  • Kidnapping
  • Larceny
  • Manslaughter
  • Mayhem
  • Misdemeanors
  • Murder
  • Obstruction
  • Perjury
  • Parole Violation
  • Probation Violation
  • Robbery
  • Sexual Assault
  • Solicitation
  • Theft
Criminal Record

Criminal Record

  • State Archives holds over 12,000 cubic feet of records.
  • There are 2 levels of Courts: trial and appellate.
  •  There are 56 District Courts in the state of Montana.
  • There are 22 judicial districts in the state of Montana.
  • The highest Court in Montana is Montana Supreme Court.
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