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3 Facts about Domestic Violence Laws in Montana_ A Guide

Domestic violence is a serious allegation that needs proper advice. Whether you are the victim or the accused, you need to know its repercussions and how the proceedings can run smoothly. Montana, in particular, has an approach to its cases that may not be common in other states. As such, we will delve deeper into its salient features.


This article will discuss three facts about domestic violence cases in Montana. Take this as an opportunity to have the working knowledge necessary to take advantage of your rights and see what you need to do from your end. This way, you can seek the appropriate legal counsel, protect yourself, and take active steps to move forward.


Fact #1: While domestic violence may typically be known as hurting your significant other, Montana also puts a focus on family member abuse and places it on the same level in court.


Most traditional states often emphasize justice for physically abused wives, which is often a common presumption when you talk about domestic violence. However, there is a broader, more inclusive definition for it.


In the case of Montana, it is considered a crime to assault your partner or a family member, and charges against the perpetrator can increase if there’s a direct violation of the protective order. Even adopted children, former spouses, and ex-partners are covered under this law.


Additionally, domestic violence in Montana directly deals with cases wherein the victim is either causing physical injury with or without a weapon. Even creating a reasonable apprehension of bodily injury can be considered, like when you hit your partner and threaten to shoot your child. Due to the complex nature of these cases, it’s best to seek the appropriate criminal defense attorney for proper advising.


Fact #2: Protective orders should be studied by both the plaintiff and defendant as there are both permanent and temporary limitations to follow.


A protective order is one of the unique legal features of domestic violence laws in Montana. It can be filled as a petition to safeguard against the accused who committed criminal acts against the petitioner. It can be used when the victim fears getting assaulted again, which can also be filed on behalf of an adult representative if a child wants to file. The petition should be processed through a family court if there is a pending family court case, like custody matters and divorce.


Protective orders also typically last for 20 days, deeming it temporary protection for any kind of interaction and contact of the defendant against the plaintiff. However, a hearing can be held to extend the order and possibly make it permanent, especially if the victim has compelling reasons to do so. As such, good legal counsel is required to forward a protective order and prepare it before the court.


Fact #3: Domestic violence cases can lead to steep financial charges and jail time. Protective orders are also considered as an addendum to them.


For the first offense, domestic violence is punishable by one day to a year for jail time and 100-1,000 dollars in fines. The second offense is steeper, which has three days to a year for jail time and 300-1,000 dollars in fines. The third and subsequent offenses range from a month to five years in prison plus a fine ranging from 500-50,000 dollars.


As a means to correct the defendant’s character, they must attend counseling assessment at their expense, and they must accomplish 40 hours of counseling if it is warranted. There are also consequences for violating the protective order, ranging from six months to two years in jail time and 500-2,000 dollars in fines.


Domestic violence in Montana is taken seriously, as you can see from the facts mentioned above. It’s best to seek advice from knowledgeable legal professionals like us to represent you properly in court. This way, you can determine your next appropriate steps to rise above this challenging experience and learn from it.


Are you in need of the best criminal defense attorney in Helena to handle your domestic violence case? Consult with us at Roath Law. We are your dedicated team of legal professionals, enabling you to get the justice you deserve. Book your free consultation today to have a better idea of how we can help you.