Felony convictions in the state of Montana are more severe than any other state. The same can be said about Montana misdemeanors. In most states felony punishments include several years in prison and have fines around ten thousand dollars maximum. These fines depend on the type of crime--assault, theft, murder, ect. In Montana fines for all different types of crimes under the felony category have the same fine stipulation: fifty thousand dollars. This is the same in the category of misdemeanors. In most states misdemeanor fines do not exceed one thousand dollars, but in Montana fines are as much as ten thousand dollars for the highest misdemeanors.
Many states classify felonies and misdemeanors as similar categories. Montana is no exception. The only true difference between felonies and misdemeanors is that felony imprisonment sentences are served in state prisons and misdemeanor imprisonment sentences are served in county jails.
Montana law does not classify its felonies and misdemeanors into alphabetical classes. Instead Montana defines each offense and includes punishments for each provision. Felony offenses and charges can include deliberate homicide, vehicular homicide, robbery, arson, aggravated assault, and kidnapping. Deliberate homicide is punishable by death--unless the offender is under the age of eighteen years of age at the time of the offense--life imprisonment, or by imprisonment for no less than ten years and no more than one hundred years. Certain limitations may apply. Vehicular homicide while under the influence is punishable by a maximum of thirty years in prison and a fine of fifty thousand dollars. Robbery received punishments of forty years in prison maximum and a fifty thousand-dollar fine. Arson and aggravated assault are punishable by no more than twenty years imprisonment with a fifty thousand dollar fine. Kidnapping receives the lowest punishment of ten years maximum in prison with a fifty thousand-dollar fine. In all felony case sentences can include a fine along with imprisonment, but not every conviction has both.
Misdemeanor charges are not much different even as their imprisonment sentences are much lower in length. The highest of all misdemeanors can include a jail sentence up to one year with or without a fine up to ten thousand dollars. Misdemeanors can be served in a local or state jail, but most often are served in a county jail. As with felonies, misdemeanor convictions can include both a fine and an imprisonment term. Repeated offenders can be imprisoned in county jails for consecutive sentences. For instance convictions of driving under the influence and simple assault can be added together for imprisonment for more than a year. Misdemeanors can include driving while intoxicated, cruelty to animals, resisting arrest, criminal trespassing, battery, the possession of firearms, reckless driving, and the possession of marijuana.
The only serious offenses--felony and misdemeanor cases--that can be expunged in Montana are those that have been reversed. This is the same for both juvenile offenders and adult offenders. DNA records and other related materials can be erased up expungement. Cases of sexual offense cannot be expunged unless the aggressor was under the age of eighteen at the time of the offense and five years has passed. See also:
Montana Felony External link (opens in new window)
Montana Expungement External link (opens in new window)
Montana Gun Laws External link (opens in new window)