Montana Criminal Lawyer

Call (888) 519-6013 to speak with a criminal defense attorney.

United States citizens enjoy one of the most equitable justice systems in the world. There are numerous protections in place, which are meant to keep innocent people from paying for a crime they did not commit. Even if someone is found guilty, appeals to higher courts and reviews of judicial decisions help ensure a fair and just system.

Criminal law, also known as penal law, involves prosecution by the government of a person for an act that has been classified as a crime. A crime is any act, or omission of an act, in violation of a public law forbidding or commanding it. Though there are some common law crimes, most crimes in the United States are established by local, state, and federal governments. Criminal laws vary significantly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but it is the goal of the justice system to punish, rehabilitate, and deter criminals, with the final intention of protecting society.

There are other kinds of cases such as civil cases, that involve individuals and organizations seeking to resolve legal disputes. In a criminal case, a state prosecutor initiates the suit, while the victim brings the suit in a civil case. Civil cases have a lower standard of proof than criminal cases, and do not result in loss of liberty. Those found liable in a civil case may have to forfeit property or pay restitution, but they will not be incarcerated.

Crimes include both felonies and misdemeanors. Felonies are more serious than misdemeanors. Some common examples of felonies include rape, torture, kidnapping, aggravated assault, arson, embezzlement, racketeering, fraud and espionage. Misdemeanors, on the other hand, are less serious crimes such as simple assault, prostitution, drug possession, driving while under the influence, petty theft, and disorderly conduct.

The punishments for crimes vary according to the crime's severity, the jurisdiction in which it is prosecuted, and the defendant's criminal record. Felony crimes are generally considered as those which are punishable by more than one year in a federal or state prison, whereas misdemeanors, when they are punishable by incarceration at all, will result in less than one year's confinement in a local or county jail. First time misdemeanants are not generally sentenced to jail time, however, and are much more likely to be assessed a fine. Other punishments for those convicted of crimes include probation or parole, community service, or drug or alcohol rehabilitation or treatment.

If you have been charged with a serious crime in the state of Montana , you need the best criminal attorney you can afford. If you are below a certain level of income, you are entitled to a public defender to handle your case.

The prosecutor's office decides what you will be charged with. It is up to them to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the crime with which you have been charged. This does not mean that you do not need to mount a serious defense to persuade a judge or jury of your innocence or to plant seeds of doubt in their mind. In most cases you are entitled to decide if you want to try your case in front of a jury of your peers or in front of a judge.

A good criminal attorney will help you figure out the best defense for your circumstances and mount an investigation to gather facts to help you. Then he or she will decide whether a plea bargain or a jury trial is your best option. Either way, the attorney will help you. A plea deal can result in lesser charges or a reduced sentence, usually with the requirement that you complete some court-ordered program or fulfill another stipulation. If your case goes to trial, your attorney will compile all the facts, evidence and witnesses, and evaluate your case from a standpoint of legal precedent, in order to best argue your case in front of a jury.

If you've been accused of a crime, you need to secure the services of a qualified criminal lawyer as soon as possible. Contact the Montana Bar Association for help in doing so.