Montana laws concerning relationship abuse

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Montana Code Annotated

Penalty for domestic violence in Montana

45-5-206. Partner or family member assault — penalty.

(1) A person commits the offense of partner or family member assault if the person:

(a) purposely or knowingly causes bodily injury to a partner or family member;
(b) negligently causes bodily injury to a partner or family member with a weapon; or
(c) purposely or knowingly causes reasonable apprehension of bodily injury in a partner or family member.

(2) For the purposes of Title 40, chapter 15, 45-5-231 through 45-5-234, 46-6-311, and this section, the following definitions apply:

(a) “Family member” means mothers, fathers, children, brothers, sisters, and other past or present family members of a household. These relationships include relationships created by adoption and remarriage, including stepchildren, stepparents, in-laws, and adoptive children and parents. These relationships continue regardless of the ages of the parties and whether the parties reside in the same household.

(b) “Partners” means spouses, former spouses, persons who have a child in common, and persons who have been or are currently in a dating or ongoing intimate relationship with a person of the opposite sex.

(3) (a) (i) An offender convicted of partner or family member assault shall be fined an amount not less than $100 or more than $1,000 and be imprisoned in the county jail for a term not to exceed 1 year or not less than 24 hours for a first offense.

(ii) An offender convicted of a second offense under this section shall be fined not less than $300 or more than $1,000 and be imprisoned in the county jail not less than 72 hours or more than 1 year.

(iii) Upon a first or second conviction, the offender may be ordered into misdemeanor probation as provided in 46-23-1005.

(iv) On a third or subsequent conviction for partner or family member assault, the offender shall be fined not less than $500 and not more than $50,000 and be imprisoned for a term not less than 30 days and not more than 5 years. If the term of imprisonment does not exceed 1 year, the person shall be imprisoned in the county jail. If the term of imprisonment exceeds 1 year, the person shall be imprisoned in the state prison.

(v) If the offense was committed within the vision or hearing of a minor, the judge shall consider the minor’s presence as a factor at the time of sentencing.

(b) (i) For the purpose of determining the number of convictions under this section, a conviction means a conviction, as defined in 45-2-101, in this state, conviction for a violation of a similar statute in another state, or a forfeiture of bail or collateral deposited to secure the defendant’s appearance in court in this state or in another state for a violation of a similar statute, which forfeiture has not been vacated. A prior conviction for domestic abuse under this section is a prior conviction for purposes of subsection (3)(a).

(ii) A conviction for assault with a weapon under 45-5-213, if the offender was a partner or family member of the victim, constitutes a conviction for the purpose of calculating prior convictions under this section.

(4) (a) An offender convicted of partner or family member assault is required to pay for and complete a counseling assessment with a focus on violence, controlling behavior, dangerousness, and chemical dependency. An investigative criminal justice report, as defined in 45-5-231, must be copied and sent to the offender intervention program, as defined in 45-5-231, to assist the counseling provider in properly assessing the offender’s need for counseling and treatment. Counseling providers shall take all required precautions to ensure the confidentiality of the report. If the report contains confidential information relating to the victim’s location or not related to the charged offense, that information must be deleted from the report prior to being sent to the offender intervention program.

(b) The offender shall complete all recommendations for counseling, referrals, attendance at psychoeducational groups, or treatment, including any indicated chemical dependency treatment, made by the counseling provider. The counseling provider must be approved by the court. The counseling must include a preliminary assessment for counseling, as defined in 45-5-231. The offender shall complete a minimum of 40 hours of counseling. The counseling may include attendance at psychoeducational groups, as defined in 45-5-231, in addition to the assessment. The preliminary assessment and counseling that holds the offender accountable for the offender’s violent or controlling behavior must be:

(i) with a person licensed under Title 37, chapter 17, 22, or 23;
(ii) with a professional person as defined in 53-21-102; or
(iii) in a specialized domestic violence intervention program.

(c) The minimum counseling and attendance at psychoeducational groups provided in subsection (4)(b) must be directed to the violent or controlling conduct of the offender. Other issues indicated by the assessment may be addressed in additional counseling beyond the minimum 40 hours. Subsection (4)(b) does not prohibit the placement of the offender in other appropriate treatment if the court determines that there is no available treatment program directed to the violent or controlling conduct of the offender.

(5) In addition to any sentence imposed under subsections (3) and (4), after determining the financial resources and future ability of the offender to pay restitution as provided for in 46-18-242, the court shall require the offender, if able, to pay the victim’s reasonable actual medical, housing, wage loss, and counseling costs.

(6) In addition to the requirements of subsection (5), if financially able, the offender must be ordered to pay for the costs of the offender’s probation, if probation is ordered by the court.

(7) The court may prohibit an offender convicted under this section from possession or use of the firearm used in the assault. The court may enforce 45-8-323 if a firearm was used in the assault.

(8) The court shall provide an offender with a written copy of the offender’s sentence at the time of sentencing or within 2 weeks of sentencing if the copy is sent electronically or by mail.

Montana’s legal definitions of “Without Consent”

45-5-501. Definitions. (1) (a) As used in 45-5-503, the term “without consent” means:

(i) the victim is compelled to submit by force against the victim or another; or

(ii) subject to subsections (1)(b) and (1)(c), the victim is incapable of consent because the victim is:

(A) mentally defective or incapacitated;
(B) physically helpless;
(C) overcome by deception, coercion, or surprise;
(D) less than 16 years old;
(E) incarcerated in an adult or juvenile correctional, detention, or treatment facility or is on probation or parole and the perpetrator is an employee, contractor, or volunteer of the supervising authority and has supervisory or disciplinary authority over the victim, unless the act is part of a lawful search;
(F) receiving services from a youth care facility, as defined in 52-2-602, and the perpetrator:

(I) has supervisory or disciplinary authority over the victim or is providing treatment to the victim; and
(II) is an employee, contractor, or volunteer of the youth care facility; or

(G) admitted to a mental health facility, as defined in 53-21-102, is admitted to a community-based facility or a residential facility, as those terms are defined in 53-20-102, or is receiving community-based services, as defined in 53-20-102, and the perpetrator:

(I) has supervisory or disciplinary authority over the victim or is providing treatment to the victim; and
(II) is an employee, contractor, or volunteer of the facility or community-based service.

(b) Subsection (1)(a)(ii)(E) does not apply if the individuals are married to each other and one of the individuals involved is on probation or parole and the other individual is a probation or parole officer of a supervising authority.

(c) Subsections (1)(a)(ii)(F) and (1)(a)(ii)(G) do not apply if the individuals are married to each other and one of the individuals involved is a patient in or resident of a facility, is a recipient of community-based services, or is receiving services from a youth care facility and the other individual is an employee, contractor, or volunteer of the facility or community-based service.

(2) As used in subsection (1), the term “force” means:

(a) the infliction, attempted infliction, or threatened infliction of bodily injury or the commission of a forcible felony by the offender; or
(b) the threat of substantial retaliatory action that causes the victim to reasonably believe that the offender has the ability to execute the threat.

(3) As used in 45-5-502 and this section, the following definitions apply:

(a) “Parole”:

(i) in the case of an adult offender, has the meaning provided in 46-1-202; and
(ii) in the case of a juvenile offender, means supervision of a youth released from a state youth correctional facility, as defined in 41-5-103, to the supervision of the department of corrections.

(b) “Probation” means:

(i) in the case of an adult offender, release without imprisonment of a defendant found guilty of a crime and subject to the supervision of a supervising authority; and
(ii) in the case of a juvenile offender, supervision of the juvenile by a youth court pursuant to Title 41, chapter 5.

(c) “Supervising authority” includes a court, including a youth court, a county, or the department of corrections.